08 Feb Implementing Governance, Risk, and Compliance Tools within SAP ERP
Regulations backed by the threat of fines and sanctions demand consistency in managing enterprise risk and compliance. No longer can you use siloed, antiquated, informal methods of spreadsheets, databases, or other home-grown tools to meet compliance requirements.
If you’ve already invested in an ERP system like SAP, your path to compliance can be easier and shorter than most. You can integrate governance, risk, and compliance tools to cover a wide spectrum of compliance requirements, including:
- Developing enterprise risk strategies tailored to your business needs;
- Governing access to data, systems, and other information resources;
- Establishing controls for business processes in support of separation of duties;
- Identifying potential and actual fraud, and facilitating efficient investigation and resolution; and
- Streamlining internal and external audits.
Assess Your Specific GRC Requirements
SAP governance, risk, and compliance tools give you the functionality to establish and manage the policies and procedures that support your compliance requirements. However, the implementation of these tools isn’t plug-and-play. You need to understand and correctly interpret applicable regulations, identify business role responsibilities, and evaluate the flow of information and processes across the enterprise. Only after you’ve conducted this analysis and implemented the appropriate GRC components may you begin to reduce risk and efficiently comply with regulations.
Governance, Risk, and Compliance Tools Are Complementary
Governance, risk, and compliance tools complement your existing SAP ERP investment, building on the data, processes, and ERP modules you’ve already implemented to run your business. GRC tools provide the following critical capabilities to help you maintain compliant business practices.
- Risk management: Identify and evaluate risk factors, develop an appropriate enterprise risk strategy, and monitor business activities to continually minimize risk.
- Access controls: Determine who has access to data, files, processes, resources, and systems; efficiently control and manage access to these information resources.
- Process controls: Establish regulatory policies for automated processes. In conjunction with access controls, provide a visual overview of all controls and integration points across the enterprise.
- Fraud management: Analyze business processes to uncover and resolve potential anomalies.
- Audit management: Improve efficiency and accuracy of audit processes while reducing costs; facilitate internal audits to preemptively address and remedy any concerns.
Risk Management Framework
Risk management provides a framework to support business areas subject to compliance scrutiny such as operations, finance, environmental health and safety, and global trade. Risk management allows an enterprise to identify risk factors, analyze the likelihood of their impact, plan prevention or mitigation strategies, and monitor those areas for potential anomalies. Upon notification, risk management facilitates efficient response and reporting of the findings.
Access Control and Management
Access controls enable an enterprise to create enterprise-wide user access policies for data, files, processes, resources, and systems. Based on the strategies developed with the risk management tool, access control establishes and enforces access policies—view, update, delete—based on the roles, responsibilities, and business objectives of users and administrators. Once established, access controls bring consistency and efficiency in managing ongoing access requests, and maintain an auditable record of access rights granted and revoked.
Process Control for Consistent Policies
Process controls support policy and compliance lifecycle management, including the implementation of and adherence to specific policies by roles, responsibilities, and departments throughout the enterprise. Process controls provide a centralized repository for managing regulatory policies and compliance procedures, as well as enable real-time monitoring of key processes, including high volume transactions that may be potential sources of compliance risk. In combination with access controls, process controls establish enforceable and verifiable policies to significantly reduce the risk of non-compliance.
Fraud Management for Efficient Investigation and Resolution
Fraud management provides tools to identify and evaluate potential fraud, questionable access or use of data, as well as process pattern that may indicate fraudulent activity. It does this by automatically analyzing large data volumes to detect and proactively prevent fraud. Equally important, fraud management enables streamlined fraud investigation and documentation of findings with the goal of resolving and remedying the issues as efficiently as possible.
Audit Management Reduces Costs
Audit management, employing automation, reduces the complexity and cost associated with the increasing frequency of audits required for compliance reporting. Through integration with the risk management and process control tools, audit management utilizes established enterprise policies, executed processes, and selected data to report on the state of your business. Audit management not only facilitates efficient reporting, but analytic capabilities also enable the assessment of historical audit data providing value-added guidance for continuous improvement.
Governance, Risk, and Compliance Tools Require Implementation Expertise
SAP GRC tools offer an enterprise powerful ways establish, control, and manage policies and processes to meet current and future regulatory compliance requirements. Success requires in-depth knowledge of governance, risk, and compliance tools, their strengths and limitations, and the expertise to adapt them to your business. Increase your probability of success by working with an SAP ERP implementation partner with a well-established focus on GRC. Look for one that knows the value and benefit of investing time to fully understand your business requirements before implementing the ideal GRC solution for your organization.