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Digital testing and controls automation
A transformative approach to automating your control environment
Our digital testing and control automation (DTCA) solution helps organizations automate their control execution and testing using a thoughtful methodology, analytics, tools, and technology so you can execute controls and evaluate processes in real time rather than waiting for testing results.
- The digital testing and intelligent automation approach: An imperative
- Why consider digital testing and control automation?
- Client spotlight
- How to establish a digital testing and controls automation approach
- Contact us
The digital testing and controls automation approach
In a world of increasing risks, regulations, and internal control requirements, transparency into your organization’s control environment is no longer optional—it’s vital—and it affects all three lines of defense.
Imagine being able to access information on demand to enable continuous monitoring and provide insights into your environment beyond control effectiveness. The resulting data would expand the ability for organizations to identify trends, make real-time decisions, and redeploy resources where they add greater value. These possibilities are driving many organizations to rethink the manual nature of their control environments and begin migrating to an increasingly automated state.
As more and more companies embark on a digital journey, transparency into control environments becomes more difficult due to:
- Manual processing or information gathering
- Limited resources
- Competing business priorities
- Decentralized data and disparate technology
Why consider digital testing and controls automation?
Digital testing and controls automation allows organizations to reduce their risk profile, uncover trends and provide valuable insights, increase efficiencies, modernize controls, and foster an environment of continuous monitoring. It does this by evaluating 100 percent of the desired population.
One organization discovered that 80 percent of its invoices were processed by only two of the five individuals within the accounts payable team. This process created backlog and operational delays that impacted its mandated 45-day payment window and resulted in a higher than normal number of manual errors.
How to establish a digital testing and controls automation approach
For companies that want to implement DTCA, it’s important to establish project scope and align key stakeholders (including business, technology, and analytics subject-matter experts), so they understand the necessary changes that will be made to the current processes.
It’s also important to identify processes or controls that are prime for automation—typically those where data is currently in an electronic format (e.g., stored within applications, databases, spreadsheets, etc.). A thoughtful rationalization process helps identify data optimization opportunities to remove or consolidate controls based on the use of common data elements. Developing and executing a proof of concept on a single process or set of controls will keep implementation manageable and help enable success. After successful implementation, the scope of automation can be expanded across multiple processes.
While none of these concepts is new, identifying the best set of controls for a proof of concept and applying the appropriate tools and techniques can be a challenge. To determine which controls offer the greatest opportunity for a proof of concept, start by asking the following questions.
Which cycles or processes:
- Keep me up at night?
- Are costly or inefficient to execute and test?
- Primarily rely on electronic data?
- Could yield the greatest insights for senior management—fraud, risk, operational efficiencies, etc.?
Answering these questions and applying a structured approach can help organizations understand the potential benefits of DTCA and form the basis for a strategy and vision. The next step is to establish a business case for leadership and develop use cases that allow the company to explore current and future opportunities that DTCA offers.
Priority use cases should address critical business issues, such as the organization’s greatest risks or data that should be analyzed more thoughtfully. Once these steps are achieved, the organization can execute a proof of concept that will illustrate the benefits of digital testing and intelligent automation implementation and measure the resulting benefits.
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