Process & Control Automation
In today’s compliance-heavy environment, finance managers need visibility of financial controls that span many systems, people, and departments.
This becomes increasingly unwieldy when there are manual tasks lying outside primary financial applications – in spreadsheets, email or operational feeder systems.
Our solution to this real-world problem was to build a powerful control management framework into the Coda Link architecture, tying other systems, manual processes, and authorisations into one visible and auditable process flow.
Our Control Framework makes processes more visible, repeatable and auditable. The end results are lower audit fees, continual compliance and complete control.
As part of the Coda Link architecture, it simply “lays over” all your disparate processes, providing visibility of the control activities buried inside the business. Control Framework is particularly effective for period closes, where it can dramatically reduce the number of days and man-hours required to complete this major, recurring task.
Here are just a few examples of how it can be used:
- period-end close
- year-end close
- supplier on-boarding and review processes
- customer addition and review processes
- account reconciliations
- bank reconciliation and cash management processes
- asset acquisition and approval processes
- operational system reconciliations
- request for payment processes
- internal audit and compliance
- personal expense management
- HR – recruitment & new hire process
- IT backup and other maintenance routines
With the Control Framework, these processes can become more:
- Repeatable & refinable – the starting point is your own best practice model for the process. All the steps are set out, so each one can be followed in the same order each time – guaranteeing consistency. They can also be easily fine-tuned to further improve their efficiency and effectiveness – without needing to learn specialised programming skills or constantly call upon in-house IT resources!
- Visible & coordinated – the system takes your process project plan and automatically generates a shared, secure website to provide complete visibility of the whole process and continual coordination among participants. It enables each participant to see the relevant information for each procedure (depending on that individual’s role and access rights). This includes details of the people involved, as well as the tasks, statuses and related documents held in the control framework’s central repository. This keeps all participants aware of the input needed and when it is required – keeping your process on track.
- Controlled & integrated – each task can be assigned to owners, along with timescales and any dependency on other tasks, while keeping all participants informed of what input is needed and when. This includes: automated emails to prompt actions by participants, InfoPath® forms to gather the information from source systems for review, online authorisations, and automated initiation of particular tasks when preset conditions are met. It also enables control over the process while it’s happening – for example to reassign a stalled task.
- Auditable & secure – every documented step in the process has an owner, and each change made is recorded with a tamper-proof audit trail to show what was done, when and by whom!
- Self documenting – because each step of a process is now visible and auditable, control documentation is continuously available online, including: supporting materials, spreadsheets and other time-stamped information. Since the documentation is a natural byproduct of the process, the control framework can significantly reduce audit fees and audit preparation costs.
- Enterprise-wide – the control framework extends continuous, ongoing risk management and compliance deep into your operations, all the way back to the process’ point of origin. The framework can bridge the gaps between insular systems and inaccessible data spread across the organisation.
If you use Microsoft® Project® to organise financial processes, our Control Framework can help operationalise and institutionalise the steps outlined in you project plans. All you have to do is import your plan into Control Framework, which then brings your plan to life by creating a workflow sequence and a project portal based on the plan. Rather than worrying about version control, audit trails, data integrity etc. as you would when granting users access to a Microsoft® Project® plan, the framework creates a collaborative and auditable process, which can be safely extended to a large number of users – all accessible via web browser. The steps outlined in your process then become more visible, actionable and part of the day-to-day fabric of your user’s working life.