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Software Audits Will Increase in 2012: How Targets Can Prepare

*Create Standardized Agreements With Publishers: Many companies do not realize that they have leverage when negotiating license agreements with publishers. In fact, companies can incorporate less one-sided terms into software license agreements with the assistance of their own legal counsel. Favorable provisions can include “no audit” clauses or voluntary “true-ups” to reduce the costs of compliance management and the total costs of ownership.

*Retain Proofs of Purchase and Keep Accurate Records: Contrary to popular belief, trade associations and publishers only accept dated proofs of purchase, with an entity name matching that of the audited company. Anything less will fall short of publishers’ mandated proof of ownership and therefore, repurchase of the assets in question may become necessary.

*Choose Integrated, IT Asset Management Tools: Asset management should be built into every company’s ongoing business processes to ensure that this process and license compliance become core competencies. The ability to conduct routine reconciliations is required to ensure software license and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.

*Obtain Expert Assistance in the Event of An Audit: Audit defense is most effective with the representation of specialized legal counsel to avoid the common mistakes that may jeopardize a company’s legal position. Any automated discovery that is conducted under the supervision of legal counsel will be protected by attorney-client and work-product privileges, should an out-of-court resolution not be possible.

Because many software publishers are focusing on license reviews to increase revenues, companies should actively review their compliance with licensing terms. Companies that are proactive with their software asset management programs can minimize the time necessary to respond and reduce the potential exposure that typically results from a software audit.

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For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prwebsoftwareaudits/2012/prweb9066133.htm

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