Today management can have access to dynamic dashboards on any mobile device that allows them to see anywhere, important KPIs, fraud indicators or internal control alerts, based on the data that is found within their company.
The implementation of such systems is made very cost effective thanks to flexible tools such as ACL and Qlik.
When deciding to implement a company-wide system that will enable access to dynamic dashboards and that will also enable internal control workflow, the costs proposed can range from very expensive and long implementation time, to light, flexible, quick implementation time.
At Aufinia, our experience suggests that the following best practices be observed:
1/ Go for a data analytics platform, such as ACL, that can:
- Read any data type from any system (such as SAP, PeopleSoft etc) or file (including PDF, Excel, Word and text) and
- That can compute any calculation required and group together data in a very flexible way
- That can export to any file type (including Excel, XML, JSON, text, etc) or that can connect to an upstream data visualization tool such as Qlik or Tableau
- ACL supports mobile devices, so that you can view results of internal control indicators from anywhere
- ACL supports internal control and internal audit workflow, so that you can easily manage exception follow-up
The advantages of choosing a tool such as ACL for setting up internal control indicators, as opposed to a tool such as SAP GRC are that ACL can create internal control indicators not only the data within SAP, but on data coming from a variety of systems. Furthermore, despite the fact that all of the controls must be created within ACL (ACL comes "empty"), the implementation time for ACL is still a matter of weeks, whereas for SAP GRC, it is more likely to be 6 months to 2 years of consulting costs.
2/ Choose a data visualization tool that is cost effective and flexible
We recommend using Qlik for data visualization for the following reasons:
- Qlik desktop is free, so you can role it out to all staff members
- Qlik Enterprise is very flexible, so you ar not limited to the standard graphs
- Qlik Enterprise enables you to present all of your data visualizations in web format, so that you can include them on your intranet
- Qlik Enterprise supports iOS mobile devices, so that your management can view dashboards from anywhere
- Qlik Enterprise supports scheduling, so that you can have your dashboards refreshed on a daily basis
3/ Create a team of internal and external experts
Making dashboards available throughout the company requires a set of skills including:
- Business Processes
- Fraud detection
- Internal control frameworks
- Information Systems
Despite the fact that an external consulting company, such as Aufinia or Deloitte, would typically have all of these skills to provide to you, it is still essential that you assign some internal staff to work together as a team, in order to ensure that your specific businesses processes and business risks are understood. Furthermore, you should have some internal staff that help to review and check all of the dashboards that are created, to ensur that the figures that you see, match those of your existing financial reports or operational reports.
At Aufinia, we can provide you with a guide to rolling out dashboards throughout your company that includes steps that management can check have been covered during the implementation.