Embrace digital technologies to stay vigilant
Many organizations still rely on manual audits, which limit their ability to focus beyond transactional issues and see the bigger picture. For example, for spend monitoring, 32% of webinar attendees said they use Excel-based analytics. Only 13% use artificial intelligence or machine learning.
With digital technologies, organizations can future-proof their compliance functions. From automating spend monitoring and improving the accuracy of exception generation to analyzing behaviors and breaking down language barriers, digital technologies can provide deeper insights that reduce risk and improve compliance.
Let's look at the prerequisites for implementing a digitally enabled compliance program:
- Tone from the top: you need leadership buy-in. Show them how they'll prevent fraud and gain their commitment to nurturing a culture of integrity.
- Infrastructure readiness: to build a comprehensive monitoring solution, your remote teams must be equipped to run and manage compliance programs effectively. And if your organization has different ERP or T&E systems across business units, work with IT or a third party to ensure your infrastructure supports a robust data analytics program.
- Defined roles and responsibilities: after identifying exceptions through analytics, have a clear definition of roles and responsibilities and an action plan to fix issues.
- Risk and compliance expertise: "To build an insight-driven program, you either need the expertise in-house or the ability to tap into a wider talent pool from your partners," says Foust. "People with the right skills and a deep understanding of your organization can identify red flags, false positives, or new regulatory requirements, and highlight gaps in internal controls," she adds.
Today's uncertainty is an opportunity for organizations to ramp up their compliance efforts and minimize the risk of fraud and loss. Adapting existing policies and processes to address today's circumstances and adopting a data-driven, digitally enabled approach will help you respond better today and build greater resilience for the future.
Read more on how companies are using digital technologies in their compliance programs here.