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Operational Transformation:  How One Org Is Benefiting From Automated Controls, Continuous Monitoring and Performance Measurement

| Published: 2/20/2012 9:06 AM | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)
Angsuman Dutta and Prasad Sista
 
As a follow-up to our previous post, the authors would like to provide a real-life example of a global card-processing company that is on a path to improving the performance of its subledger-to-general-ledger reconciliation process while reducing operational risk via reduced error rates.
 
As consumers use the cards issued by the organization, millions of financial transactions are generated every day across the globe. These transactions are captured, processed and posted to a global general ledger system. While a large portion of this core process flow is automated, the balancing and reconciliation processes that manage exceptions have remained largely manual. The manual nature of these processes has led to:
  • High cost of reconciliation per account
  • High error rates
  • Large suspense account backlog
  • Inefficient process performance measurement and reporting
  • High cost of audit and compliance
The organization is taking a holistic approach to addressing these challenges, enabled by a business operations management solution:  Automating the balancing and reconciliation processes, where appropriate, while providing on-demand access to information for reconcilers to manage the exceptions that need manual intervention. Continuous monitoring capabilities to identify and manage process exceptions. In addition, providing extensive process measurement and reporting capabilities that enable critical analysis for process improvement while addressing the organization’s audit and compliance requirements.
 
Preliminary results indicate significant benefits in the following areas:
  • Reduced manual effort for balancing and reconciliation
  • Reduced error rates leading to overall operational risk reduction
  • Reduced suspense account backlog
  • Enhanced visibility into process exceptions, with a command center view
  • Enhanced exception management capabilities
  • Increased information availability to research exceptions that need manual intervention
  • Reduced time and effort required for reporting and process measurement
  • Reduced time and effort for meeting audit and compliance requirements
The organization is excited about the possibility of transforming a manual, error-prone and nonscalable process to a highly automated, responsive, accurate and scalable process that positions the organization for future growth.
 
Read Angsuman Dutta and Prasad Sista’s recent Journal article:
Information Risk Management for Supporting a Basel II Initiative,” ISACA Journal, volume 1, 2012

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