19 Sep Business Process Automation Benefits: Increase Employee Efficiency with SAP GRC
An increasingly connected world, by necessity, has become an increasingly regulated world—particularly as it pertains to international business. Monitoring, interpreting, and implementing complex sets of regulations places ever-greater demands upon employees with security, compliance, and international trade responsibilities. As a result, organizations are aggressively looking for methods to automate as many compliance processes as possible—especially since compliance’s cost continues to rise.
Compliance Is Becoming More Complex and Costly
Compliance is expensive. New regulations make previously simple tasks complex, introduce additional tasks into a business process, and require additional resources to implement and enforce them. One of the many examples of the increasing costs and burden of regulatory compliance given in the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Ten Thousand Commandments – An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State (all 103 pages) succinctly characterizes the cost as companies endeavor to comply with federal regulations:
“An estimate of $1.9 trillion annually for regulatory compliance and economic effects of federal intervention, with an additional $66 billion for agency enforcement budgets”
Thomson Reuter’s Cost of Compliance 2018 report indicates that respondents fully expect the costs of regulatory compliance to increase and are already planning their budgets accordingly:
- Two-thirds expect to increase their total compliance budget
- Forty-three percent expect the size of their compliance team to grow
- Two-thirds of firms expect the cost of senior compliance staff to increase
However, organizations that have implemented enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems such as SAP can efficiently achieve, maintain, and demonstrate compliance with the adoption of SAP governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) modules. Even better, SAP GRC brings business process automation benefits to ease the burden of regulatory compliance.
SAP GRC Automates Compliance and Risk Management
SAP’s GRC modules complement the operational foundation already established with SAP ERP. GRC provides a consistent approach to managing compliance and risk throughout your organization, replacing myriad, manual methods you have in place to manage compliance with automated business processes that benefit anyone with compliance responsibilities.
Some of the manual or informal compliance and risk management methods GRC can replace:
- Step-by-step training documentation given to new employees who have responsibility for compiling monthly financial reports;
- Outdated handbooks (because new regulations went into effect last month) that describe the process for verifying export licenses and flagging any exceptions;
- “Best practice” notes handed down from employee to employee as they assume new job responsibilities;
- Spreadsheets that track system access rights yet rarely reflect the actual status; and
- Manually generating or locating documents and reports that need to be produced for quarterly tax audits.
Automated business processes can eliminate the variability of these manual methods. A GRC implementation makes it significantly easier to identify potential risks, establish formal processes and policies, assign appropriate access credentials, and monitor compliance activities. GRC offers business process automation and simplifies compliance and risk management in the following ways:
- Establishing separation of duties (SoD) among business process owners, senior officers, security administrators, and auditors to avoid conflicts of interest. Formal and enforceable rules establish checks and balances to reduce the risk of collusion.
- Creating rules to determine access rights and privileges based upon role, department, organization, data resources, or processes. Eliminate access management tracking through inaccurate spreadsheets, and simplify the complexity of managing access rights across your entire enterprise.
- Evaluating access rights across users, roles, and organization levels to verify access needs and identify potential areas of non-compliance. No need to waste time tracking access rights with inefficient spreadsheets. You’re automatically notified in the event of questionable access.
- Managing compliance policy lifecycles, including distribution and adherence of policies by job titles, roles, departments, or regions. Provide a consistent, centralized means of establishing and enforcing policies and processes throughout the enterprise.
- Enabling single-sign-on for multiple services and self-service password reset. Eliminate one of the most frequent requests that waste system administrators’ time.
- Generating audit reports (both summary and detailed) without the need to gather and collate individual reports. This offers tremendous time savings any time you prepare an official audit or simply want to check on your current status.
- Identifying documents, content, and communications in support of audit reporting. Eliminate the pain of hunting for these items and compiling them. All relevant audit information is immediately available on-demand.
With these automated business processes in place, employees are relieved of the tedious and repetitive tasks previously associated with establishing and monitoring compliance and risk policies and activities. No longer will they wrestle with spreadsheets in an attempt to manage access rights, rely on informal documentation to guide them through a purchasing decision, spend hours preparing for audits, or waste time coordinating log-ons to the dozens of systems across the enterprise. Employees with responsibilities subject to regulatory oversight attain greater efficiency, knowing that tasks and processes are conducted in accordance with the policies and processes established and monitored by SAP GRC.
Reap Business Process Automation Benefits with an Experienced Team
SAP GRC can significantly improve the efficiency of establishing and monitoring compliance and risk policies and processes. However, in the likely event you don’t have previous GRC implementation experience, you’ll need assistance for a successful roll-out. An experienced SAP GRC partner adds value from day one of your implementation project in the following ways:
- Understands the big picture and takes a holistic approach to your project.
- Conducts in-depth requirements gathering using a systematic, analytical approach to identify variables and unknowns in advance.
- Knows the power and potential of SAP GRC features and functionality and applies these capabilities to give you the maximum benefit.
- Applies the latest methods and best practices for managing risk and compliance.
- Promotes post-implementation independence through complete knowledge transfer and detailed documentation, allowing you to manage compliance and risk on your own.
Working with an experienced SAP GRC partner reduces implementation time, avoids the mistakes and setbacks encountered if you tackled the project independently, and delivers a solution specifically tailored to your business needs. Navigating the complexity of regulations, technology, and enterprise compliance is difficult. Remove the risk from your compliance initiative by working with an experienced SAP GRC partner.