Monitor — CaseWare International

By: CaseWare International  09-12-2011
Keywords: Monitor

Overview

CaseWare™ Monitor Framework Concept

Enterprise-wide Controls Portal

The use of effective internal controls systems, when implemented properly, is good business, as it provides assurance that financial information is correct, businesses are operating efficiently and assets are safeguarded. Addressing breakdowns in internal controls in a timely and efficient manner allows businesses to improve their profitability.

Being able to determine the state of internal controls across the enterprise through a single portal is one key component of Monitor's value proposition. Controls at remote locations can be examined centrally, including actions being taken to mitigate risks. The solution is designed to meet the requirements of any business ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies with diverse global operations across multiple languages.

CaseWare™ Monitor provides a single controls portal that enables all stakeholders within any organization to independently monitor controls across multiple businesses and systems. By providing a collaborative framework, our technologies detect breakdowns in internal controls and allow users to solve the underlying problems and prevent negative impacts on the company.

Open Design, Universal Application

Consider a group of companies with global operations in telecommunications, manufacturing, banking and insurance. These are diverse businesses with their own controls and compliance needs, requiring a monitoring framework that is universally applicable. CaseWare™ Monitor is perfectly suited to access and monitor data from telecom switches, ERPs, custom-made applications, and core banking and insurance applications. Regardless of the databases being used, the solution can monitor all these business processes and effectively improve compliance and controls.

While CaseWare™ Monitor has pre-built solutions for many business processes and industries, its open design allows customers to build customized controls using established scripting tools such as IDEA®, ACL™, Arbutus and SQL Scripts. With these scripting tools and the framework approach, customers can monitor any control in any business process. This approach allows the customer to focus on scripting the basic logic and having the framework handle everything else. For example, to monitor the creation of overtime claims in excess of the number of work hours in the period, the script writer can apply a simple logic of OvertimeClaim > HoursInPeriod.

The remaining stages of the process are handled by CaseWare™ Monitor including:

  • when and how often the data is to be monitored
  • who is to be notified
  • how they are to be notified (e-mail, SMS, dashboards, etc.)
  • the risk level associated with the control exception
  • who is responsible for resolving the issue and the turnaround time
  • who the exception is to be escalated to, if unresolved

Solutions

CaseWare™ Monitor solutions are built around a continuous controls monitoring framework with predefined business rules. With a comprehensive suite of tests and the ability to monitor business processes regardless of the underlying data sources, platforms, or locations, CaseWare™ Monitor offers an effective solution to enable Continuous Controls Monitoring throughout the entire organization.

The Solutions offer:

  • standardized rules for specific business processes
  • monitoring of ERPs such as Oracle™ and SAP™
  • faster and more efficient implementations

The focus of CaseWare™ Monitor AML is to assist institutions in meeting compliance requirements in an effective and efficient manner by automating regulatory reporting and monitoring financial transactions and customer information. The ability to assign responsibility for anomalies detected and maintain accurate records of all actions taken is key in allowing institutions to take all reasonable steps and exercise the necessary due diligence to avoid committing an offense.

Effective loss prevention continues to be an essential activity for the Retail Industry. The constantly changing nature of retail shrinkage can only be contested through a greater understanding of the business activities within an organization's internal control environment.

In a recent KPMG Fraud Survey Report, inadequate oversight and lack of clarity regarding ownership of controls are cited as key factors leading to ineffective fraud prevention. Examples include individuals being temporarily assigned 'super' user rights but are not revoked at the correct time or exception reports going to stakeholders that cannot take action to remediate issues before they become material to the organization.

Through a single portal coupled with built-in workflow and notification, all stakeholders and key decision makers can independently monitor processes across varying businesses and systems. This collaborative framework helps users across multiple departments such as loss prevention, procurement, finance, operations, and audit, to detect and correct errors and abuses before they become detrimental.

The health insurance industry suffers tremendous losses globally and the resulting impact is higher premiums. For example, in the U.S. alone health insurance fraud was estimated to cost $68 billion. (National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, 2008)

The methods being used by many health insurers lack the sophistication to stay ahead of the threat. CaseWare™ Monitor Health Insurance Fraud Monitoring employs a combination of business rules and predictive analytics to detect fraudulent claims. CaseWare™ Monitor integrates seamlessly requiring no changes to existing business systems in the organization. All claims are examined against business rules in addition to advanced analytics to detect anomalies.

Every $2 million invested in fighting health-care fraud returns $17.3 million in recoveries, court-ordered judgments, plus bogus claims that weren't paid and other anti-fraud savings. (National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, 2008)

The focus of the solution is to automate the definition of governance, risk and controls within the financial institution's lending process. The financial institution is allowed to define the control environment from loan origination to servicing and portfolio management. Once completed, the monitoring framework examines all electronic activity to detect control breaches and alert the relevant persons automatically.

CaseWare™ Monitor O2C enables all Order to Cash processes to be monitored, regardless of the underlying systems, data sources, platforms or locations. Results from these disparate sources are consolidated and presented in CaseWare™ Monitor O2C for use by any authorized users, regardless of location.

Continuous monitoring solutions provide an organization with an independent point of observation over its O2C business processes. It enables identification of control breaches, fraud and money leakage, while ensuring data quality and providing feedback on key performance metrics across the entire process.

An independent point of observation is important in continuous monitoring because solutions that are embedded tend to only provide insight into that system. CaseWare™ Monitor however enables all aspects of the O2C process to be monitored holistically and provides assurance that the interfaces between systems are working correctly.

CaseWare™ Monitor for P2P suite of tests is comprehensive and covers the full lifecycle of P2P. The suite includes tests and reports for Segregation of Duties, Master Data Monitoring, Exception Reporting and Metrics & Performance Monitoring.

Using CaseWare™ Monitor, all facets of the P2P process, from Requisitioning through to Payment, can be monitored, providing insight into specific issues as well as the overall health of procurement controls. Notifications and workflow management are built into the CaseWare Monitor™ framework ensuring that issues receive proper attention and their resolution managed.

According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), companies lose 7% of their annual revenues to occupational fraud. The focus of the CaseWare™ Monitor Payroll solution is to define and automate tests for the controls within the organization's payroll processes. CaseWare™ Monitor Payroll Solution is compatible with any source of data, including ERP and bespoke applications. By continuously monitoring the systems and applying a comprehensive resolution workflow, the audit and compliance process becomes independent and auditable.

A key feature of payroll controls monitoring in CaseWare™ Monitor is the ability to detect erroneous, suspicious and fraudulent activities before payments are made. This provides organizations with a valuable window of time to investigate exceptions to prevent losses due to error or fraud. This solution is deployed to all the relevant stakeholders, assigning them fraud mitigation tasks and ensuring that they are addressed in a timely manner.

Utility companies generally face mounting difficulties in safeguarding their revenues. In times of increasing data volume and complex systems, finding methods to detect revenue leakage and implementing an infrastructure to address it is challenging. With the CaseWare™ Monitor framework approach there are no "blind spots" because there is a virtual consolidation of the systems to create a single view of the business.

The focus of the solution is to automate the monitoring of the company's service and billing processes. Detecting anomalies and alerting the relevant persons will prevent and/or minimize revenue leakage. Most errors that result in revenue losses occur in advance of the actual loss. For example, a customer whose account is incorrectly rated will not result in a loss until billing is done but if detected early, the loss is preventable.

The CaseWare™ Monitor SoD solution enables Segregation of Duties to be monitored holistically, ensuring that user authorities are properly compartmentalized regardless of the business application, and as a secondary benefit, provides assurance that interfaces between different systems and business operations are working correctly.

Key Benefits

  • early detection of SoD issues
  • simple regulatory compliance reporting
  • enhanced view of potential SoD violations
  • reduction in the risk of fraud through SoD violations
  • historical record of SoD exceptions and remediation
  • common portal for Segregation of Duties across the enterprise
  • greater transparency and effectiveness in the protection of information

Our Tax Monitoring solution is compatible with any source of data, including ERP and bespoke applications. By continuously monitoring the systems and applying a comprehensive resolution workflow, the compliance process becomes independent and auditable. This solution is deployed to all the relevant stakeholders, assigning them issues to be dealt with and ensuring that they are addressed in a timely manner.

CaseWare™ Monitor enables Continuous Auditing of the entire business regardless of underlying systems, data sources, platforms or locations. CaseWare™ Monitor analyzes 100% of the applicable data and presents a consolidated view of these disparate sources. Internal Audit (IA) is allowed to define the control environment by utilizing a monitoring framework, and alerts are sent once control breaches occur. The solution allows auditing to become more independent and repeatable. IA can now automate scripts to have more frequent testing of controls, and, with the issue management workflow and distribution, can always know the status of internal controls.

In most Windows environments, audit logs are underutilized. They are often examined only for investigation purposes and usually after an incident. However Windows logs, when properly configured and efficiently monitored, have tremendous value.

System logging generates vast amount of data from varying sources. As a result, the process of consolidating, inspecting and analyzing them may be tedious and inefficient. The challenges are compounded by inadequate configuration resulting in logs being full, overwritten, incomplete and useless.

Our solution focuses on automating analysis, reporting, alerts and issues management within the organization's Windows logging environment. The resulting logs are collated to a centralized CaseWare™ Monitor server for analysis and interrogation. Once completed, CaseWare™ Monitor utilizes a monitoring framework that examines all electronic activities to detect reportable events and alert the relevant individuals.

While enterprise risk management (ERM) has been widely adopted by organizations globally, most will agree that there have been varying degrees of success in implementing all elements of the ERM framework - one key element that remains elusive is an effective monitoring mechanism.  A mechanism that not only monitors an entity’s significant risks, but reports, investigates, and escalates in a timely fashion, throughout the organisation.  Explore how  incorporating Continuous Controls Monitoring (CCM) as an integral part of your ERM strategy will allow automated internal controls  to be examined in such a way that immediate feedback is available for management's decision making.

Success Stories

The sooner control deficiencies are detected, the greater the value added to the organization. Detecting duplicated vendor invoices or insurance claims before payment is far more valuable than detecting them afterwards. That is the value proposition for continuous monitoring of internal controls.

CaseWare™ Monitor empowers companies by making these efforts automated, ongoing, and repeatable, moving away from periodic examinations of controls that are usually labour intensive, costly, and often times ineffective.

With many disparate databases and legacy systems, Metcash needed an effective solution that could address the associated control weaknesses. Managing the exceptions proved to be challenging due to the sheer volume of transactions. CaseWare Monitor was able to effectively handle exceptions in an efficient manner, allowing for greater assurance, and now the business can act on exceptions immediately.

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Features

CaseWare™ Monitor examines transactions and data within business processes to detect exceptions based on business rules and parameters. Once detected, CaseWare™ Monitor can alert the relevant users using a variety of contact options such as e-mails and text messaging. All alerts and reports are managed within a comprehensive workflow solution. The workflow is distributed across the enterprise to engage all stakeholders in achieving internal control and compliance objectives.

Detecting compliance and control breaches is only part of the core objective. The resolution of issues and the associated improvements in the control environment are critical to realizing the value of continuous monitoring. Anyone attempting to monitor business process controls manually can attest to the challenges.

CaseWare™ Monitor boasts impressive functionality to manage issues.

This includes: 

  • ability to automate the execution of tests via schedules
  • selecting users/groups to be alerted for information purposes only
  • setting up an escalation process
  • controlling whether or not the assigned user can close the issue
  • performing all of the above based on conditions

The conditional management of issues is a powerful feature that allows the customer to determine different treatment of exceptions based on predefined criteria. For example, all exceptions for Branch A get routed to Manager A and Branch B to Manager B, and so on. In another instance, exceptions above US$50,000 get routed to the CFO’s attention.

Once results are assigned, users can: 

  • review/close
  • reassign
  • comment
  • export reports to portable formats
  • view history of activities

CaseWare™ Monitor allows for the exemption of specific records as a way of reducing false-positives. Applications that detect issues and allocate work must provide for the reduction of false-positives or the user may become overburdened. Specific records in a report can be exempted or a condition can be applied to exempt them. For example, inactive employees in a report on employees with missing demographics could be exempted by using the condition "Employee Status = INACTIVE".

Exemptions are reversible and can be viewed at any time. This functionality can also be used to extend the business rules used to generate reports without amending scripts.

Issues can be reviewed by the user to whom they were assigned. He or she has the option to make comments on actions taken and may attach screenshots, spreadsheets, and other documents, to evidence work done.

Reassigning the issue to another user allows the Manager or Supervisor to manually allocate work to others. All issues reassigned are kept on the assigner's dashboard until they are closed by the assignee.

Research Reports

CaseWare™ Monitor Research Reports offer insightful views of current issues in Continuous Controls Monitoring.

Services

Consulting Services

CaseWare™ and its partners provide consulting services for the installation, implementation and customization of all CaseWare™ products and associated technologies.

Whether providing specific services or complete turn-key solutions, these professionals are experienced and skilled in assessing, designing and implementing quality solutions efficiently and with a maximum ROI. They possess a wealth of experience in assessing and identifying business requirements and are knowledgeable in working with complex technical environments.

General service offerings include:
  • identification of goals, requirements and conditions for success
  • business process assessment
  • development of risk, controls and benchmarks matrix
  • installation and configuration
  • implementation
  • report configuration
  • customization
  • optimization
  • troubleshooting
  • training
The information in this article was current at 06 Dec 2011

Keywords: Monitor

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