Answerthink launches Sarbanes-Oxley compliance service enabling companies to document internal controls and improve business processes using proven best practices from The Hackett Group

Service Supports Compliance Effort While Improving ROI; Hackett Research Shows Compliance Costs Increasing As Close Cycles Extend, Reversing Long-Time Trend

MIAMI, July 7, 2004 -- Answerthink, Inc. (Nasdaq:ANSR) today announced a Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Service designed to help companies meet the internal control requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley and concurrently improve business performance through the use of proven best practices from The Hackett Group, a business advisory firm and an Answerthink company.

Through the use of Answerthink's Best Practices Implementation (BPI) approach and tools, the service helps accelerate compliance efforts while allowing clients to pursue a return on their Sarbanes-Oxley investment. The service helps companies evaluate business processes, technology, and ERP systems, and make changes to improve their ability to support internal controls required by Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Answerthink's Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Service is an extension of the company's recent work supporting Sarbanes-Oxley compliance efforts at leading companies in a wide range of industries, including insurance, retail, hospitality, transportation, and energy.

According to Hackett's 2004 Finance Book of Numbers research, spending on compliance has slowed a decade-long trend towards lower finance costs. An analysis of data from Hackett's recent finance benchmark clients found that month-end closing cycles have also increased for the first time in recent years and it now takes 5.5 days for median companies to close their books, up from 5.2 days a year ago.

"Clearly, most companies are making significant resource investments to respond to the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley. World-class companies are looking beyond compliance and are using their Sarbanes-Oxley investment as an opportunity to also create efficient internal controls environments and further optimize business processes to create competitive advantage. This is something that Answerthink, with our ability to leverage Hackett-certified best practices combined with our strong IT knowledge, is uniquely qualified to provide," said Answerthink Chairman and CEO Ted A. Fernandez.

According to Answerthink Managing Director Grant Fitzwilliam, "Only Answerthink comes to the table with extensive business process expertise, unique intellectual capital from Hackett's database, and the tools, approach, and experience to implement proven best practices in leading software packages. This is a powerful combination that enables us to dramatically accelerate compliance efforts while also lowering the ongoing cost of controls."

About Answerthink

Answerthink, Inc. ( is a strategic business and technology consulting firm that enables companies to achieve world-class business performance. By leveraging the comprehensive database of The Hackett Group, the world's leading repository of enterprise best practice metrics and business process knowledge, Answerthink's business and technology solutions help clients significantly improve performance and maximize returns on technology investments. Answerthink's capabilities include benchmarking, business transformation, business applications, business intelligence, and offshore application maintenance and support. Founded in 1997, Answerthink has offices throughout the United States and in Europe.

About The Hackett Group

The Hackett Group (, an Answerthink company, is a business advisory firm providing empirically based advice and best-practices research to executives seeking to drive world-class performance in areas such as finance, IT, human resources, and procurement. Hackett's functional and process-specific benchmarks and its confidential, on-demand, membership-based advisory services are backed by an ongoing database of best practices in processes, technology, and organization in use at more than 2,400 clients around the globe. This unparalleled information repository allows Hackett business advisors to provide data, advice, and strategic insight with a level of integrity and authority available nowhere else. As of this writing, Hackett clients comprise 93 percent of the Dow Jones Industrials, 80 percent of the Fortune 100 and 94 percent of the Dow Jones Global Titans Index.

Certain statements in this press release are "forward looking statements'' within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company's actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward looking statements. Factors that impact such forward looking statements include the ability of the Company to attract additional business, changes in expectations regarding the information technology industry, the ability of the Company to attract skilled employees, possible changes in collections of accounts receivable, risks of competition, price and margin trends, changes in general economic conditions and interest rates as well as other risks detailed in the Company's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Answerthink, Inc., Miami
Gary Baker, 610/234-5900 

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