The Benefits of Automated Controls
Automated controls allow for Continuous Monitoring. For example, it is essential to ensure that the data entered in your ERP when onboarding a supplier remains correct when it is time to pay invoices. Given the time between onboarding and payment can be lengthy, there is ample opportunity for internal and external bad actors to manipulate your data. Continuous Monitoring ensures that your data stays correct and up to date.
When a finance team is responsible for processing thousands of invoices, it can be a significant challenge to ensure that all the data in the invoices is correct. This process can consume many resources, including precious time and staff hours. Automated controls can shave hundreds of hours of manual checks, freeing your team to focus on other priorities.
Reduced fraud risk
Increasingly, organizations are concerned about insider threats. One malicious employee with elevated privileges can manipulate data in your ERP and perpetrate fraud against your organization. Identifying an employee engaged in fraud can take years to detect because they are adept at covering their tracks, know what manual controls are in place, and understand how to circumvent them. Automated controls can reduce this risk by limiting the access of staff members to data and systems that can be manipulated.
Improved security posture
Automated controls improve an organization's overall security posture. For instance, you can automate reminders to managers to test or execute a specific control and alert compliance officers when that work isn't completed. Reports from tests can be used in standard reports or risk dashboards to let you see and report security compliance quickly.
The upfront costs of implementing automated controls may be higher than manual controls. However, over time automated controls are more cost-effective. Once an organization embraces automated controls, it can meet compliance obligations more efficiently. Automated controls also require fewer staff hours, saving you money.
Reducing manual controls significantly impacts the SOX compliance costs of an organization. Manual processes requiring the involvement of employees or auditors are not sustainable. In the long run, automated controls are more stable because they enable a repeatable, reliable, and predictable framework while lowering the cost of compliance.
It is challenging to overstate the importance of internal controls. However, knowing where to begin when automating controls for your organization can be challenging. To maintain effective operations and protect your company from threats, you need an automated solution that will allow you to see the risks your organization faces.