Take Advantage of Automated Controls for Continuous Monitoring and Compliance Testing

  • by Frank Rambo, PhD, Director, Customer Solution Adoption (CSA), EMEA
  • May 14, 2010
Learn how the different options for control automation included in the automated control framework in SAP BusinessObjects Process Control 3.0 turn tedious and error-prone manual tests into a repeatable automated process.
Key Concept
A centralized and automated approach to continuous control monitoring and testing of effectiveness can considerably reduce effort, cost, and reliance on external resources. It can also increase visibility, reliability, and efficiency of your control evaluations. A key product capability of SAP BusinessObjects Process Control 3.0 is the automated control framework (ACF), which permits control automation across an SAP and non-SAP system landscape through monitoring of configuration settings, master data, and transactions in a number of different ways. More than 120 pre-delivered automated controls span all core business processes.

Many companies spend an increasing portion of their budget on manual control evaluations to remain compliant with regulatory frameworks and internal policies. Scarce auditing resources spend a good part of their time with tedious manual test plans. Tolerances often vary by vendor, organization unit, and other elements. This makes manual testing error prone and unreliable, and continuous monitoring for critical business areas very challenging. In addition, companies whose business or regulatory requirements are changing rapidly need to deploy new controls to assure compliance. Manual tests executed in a heterogeneous system landscape lack central standardized reporting and harmonized remediation workflows. This limits overall visibility and management confidence into the compliance programs.

The automated control framework (ACF) centralizes and automates control monitoring and testing across a heterogeneous system landscape. It allows companies to interactively define complex rules to monitor critical configuration settings, master data, and transactions within multiple compliance initiatives set up in SAP BusinessObjects Process Control. It provides the following benefits:

  • Reduced cost and the risk of non-compliance through rapidly deployable configurable controls
  • Ensured control effectiveness across heterogeneous application landscapes thanks to continuous monitoring
  • Perfect repeatability making more complex tests possible and reducing dependency on knowledge of individual employees
  • Freed-up audit resources from routine work can focus on more strategic tasks
  • Self-documenting solution: audit trails, execution logs, issues, and remediation plans
  • Pre-delivered set of more than 120 automated controls covering all core business processes
  • Standardized reporting of evaluation results and issues across a heterogeneous system landscape and multiple compliance initiatives improves visibility of compliance programs
  • Standardized remediation workflows
  • Near real-time information provided for proactive and preventive measures
  • Pre-delivered direct integration with enterprise applications permits drill-down on supporting data for faster remediation
  • Higher adaptability to changing business processes and compliance needs

I’ll first provide an overview of what exactly is delivered with the ACF, explain the key steps to set up an automated control in SAP BusinessObjects Process Control, and give advice on how to best take advantage of the pre-delivered controls.

Frank Rambo, PhD

Frank Rambo, PhD, is managing a team within SAP’s Customer Solution Adoption (CSA) organization working with customers in the SAP analytics area with the objective to drive adoption of new, innovative solutions. Prior to this position, he worked eight years for SAP Germany as a senior consultant focusing on SAP security and identity management. Before he joined SAP in 1999, Frank worked as a physicist in an international research team. He lives in Hamburg, Germany.

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