10 Jan How to Get the Best Value from GRC Tools for SAP ERP Implementations
Planning an SAP ERP implementation is a complex affair which involves a matching all the relevant pieces of your business with ERP components. Adding GRC tools makes it even more so. However, if you are involved in international trade and want to remain competitive, you can’t avoid adding GRC tools to your SAP ERP solution.
In 2017, insurer AIG (American International Group) was fined $150,000 in a settlement for violating 555 in-place sanctions, including the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations. This left them not just with a monetary cost, but with an extremely high level of business control oversights, and less maneuverability in the global insurance industry. The cost of violating the OFEC sanctioned party list, along with always-changing international trade regulation, places your business in a vulnerable position.
As capable as an SAP ERP implementation is out of the box, you may be missing pieces that could further enhance your ERP solution. GRC tools like real-time shipping manifest tracking and OFEC list automated querying are key components to consider when selecting the best GRC tool set for your business. However, your business has unique needs. To get the best value from your investment, you’ll need to make sure your selections cover every relevant part of your trading business.
Steaming Ahead with GRC Tools with Caution
You’ll want to dive headlong into the planning of an ERP implementation. That’s a natural impulse. Before you do, there are some important considerations involved that will require you to step back and examine current processes. In many engagements, we find companies silo certain business functions or geographic sites. This adds unnecessary layers of complexity to an SAP ERP implementation and is the greatest risk to choosing the incorrect GRC tools during an ERP project. It is through the segregation of key business and regulatory processes that the wrong decisions are made about what that final SAP ERP solution, with GRC tools, should look like.
When isolated or siloed business and regulatory processes are identified, you are empowered to make the best decisions to achieve your organizational GRC objectives. The GRC tools can be selected with the utmost of efficiency gains for your processes and compliance needs. However, it is important to note that this is a great place to seek an experienced third party. They can give you qualified insight into which modules will align with your business objectives and trade regulations exactly.
Interpreting and Discovering Your Best Options for GRC Tools
The wide assortment of GRC tool options can be outright confusing if you don’t know what you are seeking. These tools will provide your business with extensions of SAP ERP functionalities, which seamlessly integrate into any existing or new implementation. Business functions, such as access controls, process controls, fraud detection, or audit logging, each brings with it a distinct set of tools to bring your ERP project to a level one step higher than the competition.
This GRC component allows a business to define who has access to particular applications, data, or system-level functions within your ERP solution. It is here where clear separation of duties can be established while having an automated process in place to detect and prevent unauthorized access attempts.
Why: Enterprise-level access controls on your critical data helps you avoid conflicts of interest while maintaining a concise, automated audit trail.
The audit component of SAP GRC brings with it the ability to coordinate audit planning, define the scope of what needs to be audited, and to create audit items and reports. This includes the ability to acquire document artifacts and evidence and can be used with other GRC tools for more in-depth audit reporting and enhanced automation.
Why: Audit logging lets you establish consistent audit processes customized for your business and industry.
This is one with a large beneficial upside for any business in any industry. This works with other GRC tools to detect and prevent fraudulent activity. It can do this by the real-time scanning of large amounts of data and transactions, generating alerts should suspicious activity be detected. The logging and reporting capabilities within this piece gives an organization all it will need to document and investigate any attempts at fraud.
Why: Fraud detection GRC tools give your business a proactive way to monitor, detect, and remediate any attempts at fraud against your organization. You will gain a quick, effective way to simplify and resolve any fraud investigation on your own behalf.
Implementing the process controls module within SAP GRC lets businesses establish a single repository for managing all business controls and policies for key processes. There is the additional benefit of real-time process and transaction monitoring, allowing a business to quickly identify and resolve issues. And, thanks to the automated notifications, all stakeholders involved will be notified to hasten issue assessment, remediation, and control approvals as necessary.
Why: Process control tools establish integrated, streamlined business processes across the enterprise while gaining real-time monitoring for any system abnormalities. The automated notifications ensure a rapid response by key stakeholders, greatly reducing time and money lost due to preventable issues.
Understanding what each of the key GRC tools can offer to your business is a crucial step towards an effective ERP implementation. The waters, though, get muddier and deeper the further into the project you go, which is why it can be helpful to seek experienced guidance to get some of the specifics locked into place.
Using Experienced Guidance to Obtain Peak SAP ERP Value
The unique implementation goals and strategy your organization has will not fit into any “best practice” ERP white paper. Rather, you will want accomplished, professional guidance from a third party that will take the time to understand your unique business processes and project requirements. They will be more than just a consultant; they should be a partner, working to accomplish your goals. Your third-party partner will take your industry’s best practices and cultivate them into your own set of best practices, leaving you with the exact GRC tools and functionality required for your business operations.