As an organization that has been in the internal controls and compliance space for over two decades, we are excited to see and introduce new technologies that augment or replicate our high standards. In the last few years, we have adopted tools like Idea or Workiva to deliver data analytics and internal controls management software. As a consulting company, we have grown to depend on software solutions and automation to best deliver value. Recently, we have engaged with a large conglomerate that has introduced a handy tool for continuous monitoring of internal controls.
In the internal controls world, continuous monitoring has been reinvigorated with the development of better, more affordable technology. This is the method to perform control and risk assessments in an automated environment and more frequently. Audit functions can be incorporated in daily cycles. In this new environment, technology platforms allow for a framework and workflows to support detailed procedures to test for the prevalence of a risk and the effectiveness of a control. In the systems we recommend, we are able to examine accounting practices, risk controls, IT systems, operational procedures, and general compliance on an ongoing basis. Software vendors, very attune to requirements, provide a platform to integrate the various software systems and operational processes in a common environment to enable a continuous auditing approach.
We have gone from going into projects for clients with limited resources to having powerful software tools. As internal controls and compliance specialists, we are now armed with data that is continuously fed to support monitoring activities. Our testing functions are no longer episodic – but are ongoing in nature. We look at Alice as an opportunity for us to move many of our manually based processes and controls over to technology. Internally, we have developed a decision-making matrix on how to succeed in a continuous framework. We look at key factors that deliver operational improvements specifically around IT processes and control instances where we can deliver proactive approaches to control issues. We also look to improve inefficient or ineffective controls or testing functions. The Alice platform, we have realized, easily integrates with the various systems in an organization making our work better, faster, and cheaper. In the future, we expect many more integrated technologies and continuous monitoring to replace or augment many functions around internal controls.
Rakhee Das, Chief Strategy Officer – Sirius Solutions
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