Over the last 20 years, the compliance environment has changed significantly from self-regulation to statutory enforcement, with the list of regulations constantly changing and growing to include anti-money laundering and anti-fraud legislation, privacy, financial, IT security and more. Today, the soaring complexity of compliance is no longer a temporary challenge – it is the new reality. Based on our extensive experience working with enterprise-class organization, most companies now have different layers of controls that need to be managed, increasing the complexity of their environment. Most specifically, we find that in companies that operate under multiple regions and business units, there are several people within different departments of an organization who need to collaborate to effectively ensure these controls are executed successfully. This culminates with the actual signatures of the CEO and CFO of public companies, who are certifying the accuracy of the organization’s financials.
According to a recent report by Protiviti, senior finance and accounting executives are tightening their Sarbanes-Oxley compliance efforts due to the increased inspection report requirements placed on their outside auditors by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s revenue recognition standard and the increased prominence of cyber-security risks. The report lists out benchmarks highlighting:
- Annual compliance costs rise significantly with the number of unique locations
- Hours continue to increase regardless of company size
- Majority of companies rely on outsourced or co-source providers for SOX work
Today, best in class organizations are successfully deploying automation to enable them to focus more intently on audit preparedness and improved internal controls, mitigating audit costs and time inconveniences. This technology ensures their stakeholders can easily communicate and collaborate, providing real-time visibility into the status of all activities, all risks and all processes across the globe. Automation provides an effective controls framework that unifies all key control components together to enable a clear audit trail for compliance initiatives.
According to the Hackett Group, “Companies that have low investment levels in automation are likely to perform more manual key control tasks, less likely to operate with R2R agility, and more likely to have risks and unpredictability in their R2R process.”
For more information on how Record to Report automation software can help increase the control and visibility of your compliance efforts, view our joint webinar recording with the Hackett Group, “Applying Risk Intelligent RPA™ to Your Key Controls.”
Written by: Kelli Shoevlin