2013 GRC Value Award: Audit Management

GRC 20/20 Research awarded ACL GRC and their client Traina & Associates its 2013 GRC Value award in the Audit Management category. ACL is an all-in-one cloud-based GRC process management solution. Since ACL GRC’s implementation at the Traina & Associates CPA firm two years ago, their average audit elapsed time went from about 60 days to 30 days; audit management efficiency increased by 25 percent; and audit revenues increased by 10 percent without increasing staffing.

Traina & Associates is a CPA firm providing IT audit services. For two years Traina & Associates has performed 100 percent of their audit work using ACL GRC and has achieved:

  • Increased productivity, and removal of the backlog of work they had experienced for over seven years thanks to the ability to divide the audit work into sections that can be signed off by the auditor, making work immediately available for review.
  • Increased audit revenues by 10 percent without increasing staffing — auditors work less and produce more work.
  • Improved information security by eliminating the risk of lost or stolen laptops containing confidential client information and discontinuing the sharing of confidential information through internal email.
  • Ability to work anytime from anywhere with cloud-based access and mobile apps — and soon may be ready to close the physical office completely, resulting in additional savings.
  • Ability to immediately update audit procedures to keep up with fast-moving technology within client businesses.
  • Retained a highly valuable employee across the country thanks to cloud-based collaboration.

The ACL GRC solution

ACL™ GRC eliminates the headaches and fragmentation associated traditional on-premise audit, risk and compliance management systems. There’s no software to install, servers to buy or resource-intensive implementation projects. With ACL GRC, everything is integrated and managed. A comprehensive set of controls guarantee data is protected.

Within one year of implementation, Traina & Associates experienced increased productivity and efficiency, including lower staffing costs, lower information security risk, increased telecommuting and reliability. For example, in addition to field work and documentation, it took about 1.5 hours to complete a final report. Using the new system, the same report can be generated in 30 minutes.

Implementation effort was minimal, and was completed in less than one month. During the next five years, the firm expects to continue to experience increased employee retention and satisfaction

The security and agility features of the ACL GRC solution are important to a firm like Traina & Associates: Because the data is securely accessible via cloud, client data is no longer stored on the auditor laptops. This eliminates the major risk of exposure due to a lost or stolen laptop with confidential client information. Client audit data is also no longer shared between team members through internal email, since it is available to everyone 24×7 in ACL GRC; a lost or stolen phone containing email has much less of an impact if there is no client data involved.

SaaS delivery also means ACL GRC clients no longer have to worry about an internal system going down, or the need to be updated or patched or backed-up. All auditors need is something with a browser and Internet access. This delivery also means the majority of employees can work virtually; in the future, the firm expects additional savings because the office space may not be needed. Change is a constant with Traina & Associates’ IT database: And ACL GRC’s management and delivery approach also makes this easy, since policy and procedure changes can be done globally and simply, via the cloud.

A homegrown system with a backlog of work

Traina & Associates previously used custom-developed software combined with a separate system of email and a number of spreadsheets to track and manage work. Traina was growing at a fairly rapid pace and auditors often faced very long work hours. In addition to doing audit work, all members of the team helped with development of new programs to keep up with new client technology. Efficiency is paramount for this small company.

Traina & Associates badly needed a cost-effective solution to improve workflow, automate the audit process and help the team stay ahead of industry advancements. The firm previously relied on its own proprietary audit management software, but questioned the wisdom of committing additional resources to develop an upgrade. Migrating from a proprietary system required identifying an alternative tool that was affordable, flexible, easy-to-use, encouraged collaboration and increased audit efficiencies. Traina & Associates did not expect that just one solution could meet all of their criteria.

To learn more about the GRC 20/20 2013 GRC Value Awards and other recipients, please visit this post: GRC 20/20 Announces 2013 GRC Value Award Recipients

 

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