LONDON, 20th May 2004 - Prudent companies should invest in comprehensive testing of their software before Financial Service Authority (FSA) regulations, concerning international accounting standards, come into effect on 1st January 2005. This is the message from leading IT services specialist, ZEDA.

Inadequate testing could affect an organisation's ability to meet standard reporting requirements and could, potentially, be the catalyst for major operational and reputational risk.

Tony Hall, Testing Project Manager at ZEDA, comments: "The FSA regulations will generate the need for new applications or alterations to current software. These modifications will affect almost all systems in use at UK companies. Organisations will need to undertake extensive testing to ensure that the system changes required to comply with FSA regulations have not altered any previously reliable functions. Changes made are also likely to have a substantial impact on business processes and, as a result, will also require intensive user testing."

There have been numerous, costly, high profile system failures in recent years and the impact in terms of diminished customer confidence, the knock-on effect on share price and loss of brand reputation can be disastrous. Despite these risks, software testing is often inadequate as senior managers tighten IT budgets to cut costs.

Hall concludes: "Testing is one of the primary means of reducing the operational risk associated with changes to finance software. In the financial services sector, where errors are clearly visible to customers, the consequences of inadequate testing are potentially very serious indeed."

For press enquires, please contact:
David Bell or Elizabeth Dougall
020 7240 6959

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