FAST has introduced a guide offering a ‘how-to' approach to tackling software compliance.

The SOS Survival Guide for Software Audits outlines the necessary steps for firms struggling to manage their software assets and who are at risk of – or are already facing – a software audit.

The company said that it summarises what to do when you receive an audit letter, the importance of maintaining a paper trail, the effect of a merger or acquisition and how you should take the proactive route to managing your software assets.

Matt Barnes, operations director at FAST, said that in difficult times what organisations must get from their IT estate is predictability and reassurance, not unexpected, unbudgeted costs.

He said: “Effective software asset management (SAM) and compliance become more pertinent as organisations attempt to get their costs in check in a recession. Research shows that around 60 per cent of UK organisations are under-licensed and 40 per cent are over-licensed - so whichever side of that equation you are on, when organisations are demanding certainty in expense control and want no nasty licensing surprises, effective SAM is the solution.

“With a 35 per cent increase in vendor audits and one in four checks triggered by finger-pointing employees, companies' finances, and their reputations are at risk. We developed the FAST SOS Survival Guide for Software Audits so companies can use it as a survival kit, by adopting its conclusions and keeping it handy, as they never know when they may need it.”