06 Feb Governance, Risk, and Compliance Software Solutions: Questions to Ask Before Deciding
The decision to move to new or upgraded governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) software solutions is primarily motivated by federal, state, and local regulations. Regulatory obstacles such as SOX, NIST, ISO, and DFARS are sets of rules that can cause staggering fines or delays should your business run afoul of them.
Unfortunately, the statistics show that you most likely already either have had or expect fines, sanctions, or audits assessed. At minimum, you are struggling with the excessive time required to respond to audit or reporting requests. With all this to consider, what should matter most to your business when sourcing a software solution that will seamlessly integrate into your business model?
We have found that there are key questions to be asked which will guide your decision. If you plan to implement SAP ERP with GRC, or already have a SAP ERP system and are looking to add SAP GRC to the mix, or are examining non-SAP options, then these key questions will help to guide you on your journey to GRC project realization. Understanding the nuances around your current state of your GRC policies and defining where you want to go will help you succeed.
Governance, Risk, and Compliance Software Solutions: Questions to Ask Before Deciding
Q: What is the state of your GRC policies and practices?
A: One crucial element to examine across the entire enterprise is to identify and understand your current GRC policies and processes. Scrutinize all of your business processes and associated policies. You’ll also want to note the necessary access levels for everyone on staff.
You must take all of your business partners into account as well: Vendors, customers, contractors, guests, etc. Lastly, assess your current risk management program and contingency policies. This look lets you pinpoint these processes and groups’ roles and responsibilities relative to GRC. It is here too that your pain points will come to light; those inefficient processes or conflicts of interest which elevates the opportunity for risk will be identified.
With this understanding in place, you can now take a deeper look into how GRC management is happening today. Manual or disconnected methods such as spreadsheets, e-mail, or research results in inconsistencies, ultimately leading to high levels of risk, inefficiencies, and preventable errors. Role definitions which are not well-aligned with tasks or job responsibilities are all too common, thanks to manual or disjointed processes for access requests to systems, data, services, and software.
Monitoring is an important aspect of managing your GRC environment. However, without an up-to-date solution in place, your high-volume processes cannot be properly monitored for fraudulent transactions. Breaches go unnoticed, and the monitoring that is in place looks active—but there are no alerts configured and the logs are not actually being reviewed. Additionally, reporting and auditing should not take an army to accomplish. Yet without a solid GRC system in place, these easily automatable processes will become manually time-consuming and deliver inconsistent results. Issues like these will get you thinking about how your GRC policies and processes should evolve.
Q: What would the future state of your GRC policies and practice look like?
A: Having assessed the current state of your GRC ecosystem within your Enterprise, you will have the information needed to define where your policies and practices should be to reach your GRC goals. A great place to start is with these three fundamental points. These allow you to better establish a solid foundational blueprint for what your GRC solution must look like:
- Access. Policies built to determine access have to define what roles should exist and which have a legitimate need for access to specific sets of data, systems, and applications. These policies need to establish and maintain segregation of duties, and to contain automated processes around access requests and revocations;
- Process. Defining and establishing enterprise-wide regulatory policies and compliance procedures helps you learn how to monitor and identify potential areas of risk and fraud; and
- Audit. When audit logging is being established, your business will need to identify what data, documents, and reports are required to meet the expectations for both internal and external audits. Establishing who is responsible for providing the required information is an important requirement within any developed audit policies. Once the audit policies are established, automating them will save your organization time while ensuring constancy.
Establishing what the perfect state of your GRC program should be in your organization is vital to ensuring that your GRC project succeeds. It’s more than just establishing policies; you will need to have your processes represent each trade, business process, and audit scenario you will come across, including differentiating between internal and external audits. Automating as many of these items is a huge benefit of adding a GRC solution, provided you discover the correct answers to your trade questions.
Answers and direction along the path to compliance
Getting the best-informed answers to these questions can be realized by working with an experienced ERP implementation partner with a proven track record of successful GRC implementations. Your partner should conduct in-depth gathering of project requirements, and use a systematic approach to identify all variables and unknowns in advance.
A trusted partner will work closely across all lines of business stakeholders to apply GRC componentsto:
- Configure access policies and rules while automating user provisioning and introducing self-service access requests;
- Monitor and provide real-time insight into internal controls processes, including high-volume transactions; and
- Automate auditing processes with standardized reporting while generating supporting documentation and an effective communications structure.
A valued partner will work with you to customize, plan, and implement your GRC solution. Your organization will take regulatory changes, mergers, and acquisitions, and incorporate them all seamlessly.