In 2023 there are two types of SAP users: Businesses embracing controls automation - and ones that aren't because they haven't yet realized what the buzz is about. And if you are one of the latter, the following will be welcome news.
Because this VOQUZ Labs guide reveals why thousands of companies using SAP as their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system are shifting to internal controls automation. However, we will also go deep into the tangible and specific details. What are the innovative features? And how are savvy CFOs, internal controls teams, and auditors taking advantage of them?
But before diving into the valuable features, let's quickly review how technology is transforming internal controls and auditing.
In the last few years - fuelled by technological advancements such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) - internal controls and auditing processes are shifting from manual to automated. This transformative shift marks the dawn of the internal controls automation era, a phenomenon that is reshaping how businesses manage and monitor their critical operations.
For those of you who are new to the automation of internal controls, we highly recommend you read our guide, Internal Controls Automation 101: What It Is and How It Works.
But in a nutshell, here are the top-line benefits of internal controls automation:
And if you are a business that utilizes SAP ERP or S/4HANA, you will be pleased to know that all the incredible benefits of the internal controls automation revolution are waiting for you to take advantage of - right now.
In fact, many businesses (perhaps some of your competitors) are already doing so.
But the question now is: How? The following section will reveal the tangible features of internal controls automation software within the SAP environment that all smart organizations should embrace.
In 2023, whether we are in our personal life configuring a modem in a new home or setting up controls automation software for a large company, we all now expect the following: quick installation.
And one of the most attractive features of controls automation software is its fast implementation process, and the libraries of shipped controls included out-of-the-box.
Technology has made incredible strides. And it means you will get an ROI from day one.
A SAP add-on controls automation software, such as remQ Business Inspector (a VOQUZ Labs solution), can be set up in a day. And with it, a library of 100+ ready-to-run audit checks for several business areas. All controls automation software, such as remQ Business Inspector, worth their salt should offer the following in a plug-and-play manner:
And perhaps now it's easier to understand why there is so much buzz about internal controls automation.
After all, companies worldwide daily are installing software in SAP ERP or S/4HANA environments that immediately get to work on cutting fraud, boosting cost savings, and lowering external auditing fees for their organizations (quick fact: controls automation can reduce your external auditors' fees by 27%)
In the previous section, we reviewed how fast installation and plug-and-play libraries of controls are essential features for best-in-class controls automation software for SAP.
But we were only warming up.
Because it's real-time monitoring and auditing (also known as continuous monitoring and auditing) that transforms controls automation software for SAP into a magic wand.
And, of course, stating it's a magic wand is an exaggeration - or is it? Because shrewd CFOs, internal controls, and auditing teams embracing continuous monitoring and auditing in their SAP ERP and S/4HANA environments already feel magic-like effects.
However, to understand these positive outcomes, we need to break them down into two separate areas: First, internal controls - and second, auditing.
Real-time monitoring in the context of controls automation helps internal controls professionals continuously analyze data, helping identify issues and risks in real-time.
And it does something tremendously valuable. Rather than wait as long as 18 months to detect (if at all) potential problems through manual processes, real-time monitoring empowers internal controls teams to proactively identify issues in real-time within their SAP environment - significantly mitigating issues and risks.
And let's create an example. What is one of the greatest risks that keep internal controls teams up at night? Employee fraud. It's a huge problem that even the most respected global companies fall victim to.
For example, only days ago (at the time of writing), a former Amazon employee was sentenced to 16 years in prison in a $9.4 million fraud case involving fake vendors and invoices.
We don't know the specifics of this case. However, the following is certain: Real-time monitoring is part of the solution to mitigate the risk of employees stealing from employers in nefarious and illegal schemes.
And it's also the future of internal controls within SAP.
We now know that real-time monitoring (or continuous monitoring) is a cornerstone feature of controls automation software for SAP ERP and S/4HANA.
But it's not only internal controls teams that can use the real-time technology - internal auditors can too.
And over the last few years, software for SAP, such as VOQUZ Labs remQ Business Inspector, has been solving fundamental problems (like a magic wand) found in traditional, manual auditing processes.
For example, one issue for auditing teams is how tasks build up over time and are often left glaringly close to the reporting deadline - leading to increased errors and costs. Real-time auditing addresses this issue because it focuses on frequent reporting.
To learn more about real-time monitoring and auditing, check out the following guide from the blog: Stay AHEAD of the CURVE: Unlocking the Power of REAL-TIME MONITORING and Auditing.
Organizations are increasingly exposed to compliance requirements. Adopting innovative ways to assess and manage risk and enhance performance is critical. That’s where data analytics and continuous monitoring are helping to simplify and improve the internal control system, increase operational efficiencies, reduce costs, and detect fraud and errors earlier. Internal controls become a way for organizations to create value.
We will now reveal the third innovative feature internal controls automation add-on software can provide organizations using SAP ERP or S/4HANA.
But some background first. As many of you know, business partner screening is checking your (potential and active) vendors, customers, and other partners against databases and watchlists. The following three types are most common:
Companies do this for various reasons. Firstly, to comply with legal and regulatory requirements - such as sanctions laws. And secondly, as part of a risk management process that mitigates the risk of working with bad actors.
And now, here is another innovative controls automation offering.
Because of the incredible advancements in regulation technology (RegTech), some controls automation software solutions for SAP, such as remQ Business Inspector, offer integrated business partner screening within SAP ERP or S/4HANA. The benefits are tremendous:
This guide revealed the game-changing features of controls automation for SAP that businesses must embrace.
VOQUZ Labs remQ Business Inspector software has all these features and operates as a SAP add-on with a library of 100+ pre-built shipped controls ready to run. You can click here to learn more about how remQ can assist your business with its goals to cut audit errors, reduce fraud, and stay compliant within your SAP ERP or S/4HANA environment.
Recommended reading - Automating Internal Controls Is a CFO's New Best Friend: 4 Ways It SAVES MONEY Revealed.
Paul is a RegTech content writer & strategist with extensive experience in digital marketing and journalism. His work has appeared in the Guardian newspaper. He also holds a degree in International Relations, where he studied global sanctions compliance and cross-border finance.
Do you have any questions or something to add? Just leave us a message, please! Your message will be delivered by e-mail to us and will not be published.