Companies engage in IT-projects in order to gain some benefits; however they complain that those benefits are difficult to achieve. On the basis of a survey in the Swiss financial industry this paper comes to the conclusion that due to a fundamental misconception companies reproduce the lack of success in reaping IT benefits: Many companies regard benefit management as an instrument to support project proposals rather than as an instrument to gain optimal benefits. Consequently, benefits management activities focus on the early project phases. The paper presents data based on interviews with senior maangers/executives representing 31 large companies of the Swiss financial industry. It covers benefits in project proposals, the identification and structuring of benefits, the planning of benefits realization, the execution of the benefits plan, review and evaluation results, an overall process evaluation and some contextual questions.