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Report: 24% of companies have paid millions in audit fees

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Twenty-four percent of companies have paid millions in audit true-up fees over the past three years to companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM, according to a new report from Flexera.

Pie chart. Title: twenty-four percent of respondents paid more than $1 million in true-up costs and penalties over the past three years. Subheader: Estimate how much your organization has paid over the past three years as a result of audits by software vendors (including penalties or unbudgeted true-ups). 9% spent more than $5 million. 15% paid $1 million to $5 million. 10% paid $500K to $1 million. 8% paid $250,000% to $500,000. 11% paid $100,000 to $250,000. And 17% paid less than $100,000.

The Flexera 2022 State of IT Asset Management report surveyed 465 technical professionals from around the globe and across a broad cross-section of organizations. The participants provided insights into their IT asset management (ITAM) practices. More than half of participating organizations employ at least 5,000 people, while more than one-third employ 10,000 or more.

A key finding from the report: Corporate IT professionals face dueling expectations.

On one hand, IT, and specifically IT asset managers, have to protect their company against software audits that historically can cost millions. Fifteen percent of respondents paid between $1 million and $5 million in audit true-up costs in the past three years, while 9% have paid more than $5 million. Due to the high dollar costs of audits, 70% of respondents said responding to audits is a responsibility, the highest percentage of any responsibility.

At the same time, many respondents are expected to do more than just protect against audits. They are expected to lead innovation and drive major cost savings and cost-avoidance initiatives, such as optimizing software spend (54%), improving the reclamation of underused or unused software (49%), and improving management of SaaS applications (48%).

SaaS and cloud remain a challenge for enterprises. Only 28% of IT Asset Management respondents track and optimize the use of public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) — a number that didn’t change over last year. One-third (34%) track SaaS usage, a slight decrease from last year (35%).

Not only do audits cost money, but the specter of expensive future audits distract IT, keeping professionals from focusing on increasing the speed of innovation or leading important cost savings initiatives across SaaS, cloud, and on-premises software.

Read the full report by Flexera.

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