IBM's Latest Acquisition Targets The Finance Office

IBM acquired Clarity Systems, a developer of business analysis software that helps companies automate financial governance and regulatory disclosure processes. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

IBM also said it completed the acquisition of OpenPages, a Waltham, Mass.-based developer of risk and compliance management software. IBM announced plans to buy OpenPages for an undisclosed sum last month.

The acquisitions of Clarity Systems and OpenPages strengthen IBM's business analytics software line, in general, and specifically the company's offerings for financial governance, risk management and regulatory compliance. This week, in announcing its third-quarter earnings, IBM said sales of business analytics applications grew 14 percent.

IBM said the Clarity Systems acquisition addresses problems faced by CFO offices such as data quality, time constraints for closing financial books, tougher regulatory disclosure requirements, and the need for better visibility into a company's risk exposure.

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Clarity Systems' software helps organizations automate the process of collecting, preparing, certifying and controlling financial statements for electronic filing to meet filing mandates set by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and local regulatory agencies. The system combines financial statements, operational data, commentaries, notes, charts and pictures into a single document.

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’Smarter decisions thrive on accurate financial information, and it is therefore imperative that financial governance systems reduce risk of error and provide confidence in the external reporting process,’ said Rob Ashe, general manager, business analytics, IBM, in a statement. ’Clarity Systems extends IBM’s business analytics capabilities to the office of finance by enabling organizations to help businesses automate complex governance processes, improve data accuracy and provide the foundation for addressing a wide array of regulatory reporting mandates.’

Clarity Systems is based in Toronto, Ontario. Users of the company's software include British Airways, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Sempra Energy Utilities and Young & Co.'s Brewery.