“With Analytics Exchange 2.0, we have an intuitive solution that will help our team manage and track exceptions, and process them efficiently through an easy to use workflow.”
Jason Gross, Vice-president, Controls Management, Siemens Financial Services, Inc.
Siemens Financial Services, Inc.(SFS) is a leading provider of business-to-business financial services in the United States. The company, based in Iselin, NJ, enables business expansion for thousands of customers in the healthcare, energy, and industrial sectors by providing customised solutions that range from equipment financing and working capital to project and export finance, and insurance solutions.
The SFS controls management team has been eager to develop a continuous monitoring program that identifies, tracks and communicates key exceptions to business stakeholders. Spreadsheet software had become difficult to manage, and the team needed a user-friendly workflow engine to standardise the process of following and correcting exceptions – with minimal manual intervention.
As longtime proponents of ACL audit analytics, the SFS control team recently upgraded to ACL Analytics Exchange 2.0 (AX). The team was particularly excited to explore the new AX™ Exception component, which is a web-based application designed to manage, distribute, assign, review and escalate exceptions throughout their business.
SFS worked with ACL consulting services to perform the installation and ensure the solution adhered to IT protocols. “We were enthusiastic about implementing the AX Exception component as quickly as possible,” explains Jason Gross, vice-president of controls management for SFS. “ACL consulting and technical support services helped us get up and running faster than we ever thought possible. We plan on continuing to take full advantage of these services in the future.”
The SFS team identified seven umbrella categories that encompass over 200 planned data analytics. These categories include data input validations, system processing and calculations, edit checks, data trending, change management, authorisation, and table maintenance.
The team uses ACL Analytics Exchange 2.0 to run continuous controls monitoring routines on a daily basis. Business owners are notified about critical issues uncovered by ongoing analysis by the following morning, as extractions and analysis are run on the server overnight to promote peak performance. With almost no manual intervention, the analytics can reveal opportunities for greater profitability and data discrepancies that might impair management’s ability to make informed decisions. The AX Exception component provides a workflow that SFS has customised to notify stakeholders of exceptions, alerts, and critical business information. Using ACL Analytics Exchange 2.0 these analytics run three to four times faster than they would on the ACL Analytics platform. The new system not only offers time savings but also increased security over accessing the controlled analytic environment.
With ACL Analytics Exchange 2.0, SFS has automated data analysis routines that used to require manual testing – enabling staff members to apply their time to more significant, value-added activities. They have leveraged the flexibility of the platform to better pinpoint errors and maximise the use of repeatable analytics.
Most importantly, SFS has used ACL Analytics Exchange 2.0 and AX Exception to make its continuous monitoring plans a reality – increasing team efficiency and reducing the negative impact of exceptions on the business. SFS has built this monitoring across the entire continuous monitoring spectrum, including master data, system configuration, and transactions.
“The Analytics Exchange 2.0 platform with AX Exception is a great way to find items of interest within the organisation, get corrective action where it’s needed, and to really focus efforts on activities that require dedicated research. You can let the system do the rest,” says Gross.