CHC Helicopter Uses ACL GRC to Increase Productivity by 15% and Cut Software Costs by 60%


“It was a very easy implementation—from my group, that’s high praise indeed.”

Paul King, Vice President and CIO, CHC Helicopter
Headquartered in Richmond, Canada, CHC Helicopter has two distinct operating divisions: CHC Helicopter Services and Heli-One, the world’s largest helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul business. In addition to its offshore oil transport operations and maintenance unit, CHC is also the world leader in helicopter search and rescue, holding major contracts on six continents. CHC employs more than 4,300 people in 30 countries worldwide.


CHC Helicopter’s Internal Audit group is comprised of 20 professionals spread across five countries and several different time zones. This busy international team—which includes internal auditors, consultants and external auditors—had previously used an audit management software program to organize its project workflow. The program, however, had become cumbersome and unreliable. It was difficult to use, the interface was not intuitive, and the team needed a better way to enhance its productivity. It was time to find a new audit management system that could accommodate multiple users and support a more efficient global workflow.

Decision Process

CHC launched a thorough technology evaluation process, with a flexible workflow as the top requirement. The new solution had to be simple and highly intuitive. It also had to be cost-effective to accommodate users working both locally and at remote locations worldwide—providing full accessibility anywhere, at any time.

CHC was already familiar with ACL’s flagship data analysis technology and trusted the ACL brand. When a consultant introduced CHC to the ACL™ GRC project management capabilities, it was promptly added to the evaluation pool. ACL gave the audit team full access to explore and independently test the solution. As ACL GRC requires minimal user training, it met CHC’s criteria for intuitive workflow, global accessibility and cost-effectiveness. In addition, ACL GRC satisfied CHC’s comprehensive security and availability concerns, and the cloud-based system minimizes the internal IT burden.

Ease of use was critical for the global CHC audit team. With the ACL™ GRC for iOS application, users access the full-feature system on the iPhone® and iPad®. The mobile software further supports efficiency and productivity, allowing leaders to view, share and collaborate with their teams, and giving staff on-thego access to eports, project statuses, findings and management responses.

When the evaluation process was complete, ACL GRC came out on top, prompting CHC to implement the technology as its new audit management solution.


The ACL GRC installation was quick and troublefree. The system was up and running immediately, with the ACL product team available in-person and over the phone to answer questions. ACL GRC, however, never raised any red flags. “It was a very easy implementation,” says King. “From my group, that’s high praise indeed.”

CHC brought in ACL consultants to train core staff on the audit management technology. After less than an hour, most users could easily navigate the interface and perform basic tasks. Further training ensured CHC team members could maximize the full potential of this feature-rich solution.

“ACL was really interested in incorporating our feedback into the software – not the other way around. Being able to work closely with ACL to help develop their solution, and then to have it work so well for us really captured our attention.”

Marian Jakovcic, Director of Internal Audit, CHC Helicopter

During the implementation, ACL used CHC’s feedback to build new reporting and scheduling features into subsequent releases—an approach that impressed CHC. Since then, ACL and CHC have held joint brainstorming sessions to create new fields and functions, including suggestions from staff who have gained fluency with the technology. CHC now uses ACL GRC for all daily audit work, including financial and operational audits. It’s the core of CHC’s internal audit management program and provides a complete communication and resource repository.


Using ACL technology, CHC has achieved the following results:

15% productivity increase

A global Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance audit is among CHC’s most significant projects. As a direct result of implementing ACL GRC, CHC’s SOX audit is currently two months ahead of schedule—representing a 15% productivity increase from the previous year.
Efficient global teamwork

Users interact freely within the technology, which centralizes communication and improves project awareness—allowing this globally dispersed team to stay fully informed and up to date.
Reduced IT overhead, 60% software cost savings

The flexible ACL GRC subscription costs approximately 60% less than CHC’s previous audit management system. Harnessing the benefits of cloud-based delivery has also saved CHC’s IT department the cost of purchasing additional hardware, and has eliminated the burden on IT staff to install and upgrade the software and perform backups.
Secure collaboration with external stakeholders

CHC shares controlled ACL GRC access with its external auditors, who have responded enthusiastically to the new technology. CHC also sends client file requests through GRC and tracks receipt. Clients appreciate the minimal email burden and can check their own file delivery and task completion.
Quicker workflow, less email

CHC auditors are no longer drowning in email and spreadsheet attachments, because all notes, comments and sign-off instructions are tracked and stored securely within ACL GRC. International reviewers can sign off to prevent delays and enhance the workflow. Additionally, if a key team member leaves the company, their complete communication thread remains available for new staff to study.
Mobile access

CHC can now leverage technology already in their pockets to capture and report governance, risk and compliance concerns within the organization. Team members can easily access project files on their iPads and iPhones.
Click-of-the-button reporting

With ACL GRC, CHC creates standardized, automated audit reports at the click of a button. Automated reporting represents a significant time savings and minimizes the risk of human errors.
Reliable cloud-based availability

CHC monitors the availability of all its global IT applications. To date, ACL GRC has not had any service interruptions.

Next Steps

CHC already uses ACL data analysis software and plans to expand its use of this controls testing technology. ACL GRC connects directly with ACL’s other flagship products, which will ultimately create a seamless, highly efficient experience for the audit team and stakeholders across the CHC organization.

Monday, July 1, 2013 In: Hot Topics Comments (None)

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