Control and compliance have always been a core responsibility of the Finance and Accounting Department. As a result of the pandemic, the focus has shifted to ensuring full compliance and early detection of any potential shortcuts that might be taken across the enterprise.
With significant pressure on the financials, reduced staff levels, and increased decision-making speed, companies must find ways to protect organizational integrity. Executives rely on Technology and Security to keep the organization safe, fully compliant with regulatory requirements, and meet customer expectations.
Security First – with the unexpected move to remote working, security had to pivot quickly to help ensure the networks’ safety, tight access management, and documented change management protocols.
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) products have become core parts of Security organizations to prevent cyber attacks. As all businesses moved to remote working, it is essential to deploy preventive tools monitoring for potential cyberattacks.
Even before the pandemic, companies have increased the usage of technology for Control and Compliance. Deploying RPA in Internal Audit allows Auditors to spend more time on value-add analysis, including risk assessment, Compliance, and control. Deloitte’s article ‘Moving Internal Audit into Robotic Process Automation’ outlines some of the common applications of RPA:
- ‘Gathering background information and metrics from multiple systems or sources to better define audit scope
- Continuously monitoring business operations that would be too demanding and/or expensive if done manually
- Prepopulating documentation requests based on audit scope
- Generating planning documentation by automating text-heavy documents
- Performing “what-if” analysis on more data more frequently
- Detecting suspicious logs associated with IT systems
- Real-time reporting of frauds arising in financial systems
- Testing control effectiveness based on a sample or the entire population’
The recent events even further elevated the need to focus on control and Compliance. The Finance Department, jointly with Technology and Security, must ensure that the right levels of control are in place and identify permanent ways to increase business effectiveness due to increased reliance on technology tools.