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February 2013

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Accelerate Policy Compliance with Advanced Financial Controls—Without Slowing Down Your Business

Increased pressure on the bottom line, new regulations, and the growing complexity of business processes—all these forces are convincing finance executives that they may need to enhance the financial controls in their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Advanced financial controls can improve a company’s bottom line and make business processes more effective, without slowing down business operations.

Steve Walsh, Oracle vice president of governance, risk, and compliance applications sales, spoke to us about the emerging importance of advanced financial controls.

Q: What are the top financial challenges enterprises face today?
A: One of the biggest challenges is around protecting the bottom line. A variety of factors can negatively impact the bottom line, such as cash leakage and ineffective cash flow management. So customers are eager to minimize this risk and protect their assets. Another big challenge is ineffective business processes. Organizations are struggling to optimize their processes particularly because they often have to rely on manual reviews and approvals to enforce corporate policies. Managing operational risk also presents significant challenges and has become a more serious problem because of the large volume of transactions and unauthorized setup changes that organizations are now seeing.

Q: How can enterprises best meet these emerging challenges?
A: Customers have learned that utilizing ERP controls in conjunction with advanced financial controls is the most effective way to meet the challenges.

Q. How do advanced controls work with existing ERP controls?
A. Advanced financial controls are another tier of controls that complement or augment standard ERP controls. They are designed to continuously monitor transactions and ERP setups and provide insight into where potential violations may occur. As an essential component of an integrated GRC platform, they perform three key functions: enforcing policies, reporting results, and managing issues to resolution.

Q: Which processes benefit from advanced financial controls?
A: The procure-to-pay and order-to-cash processes stand to benefit the most. However, it is important to understand that advanced financial controls can significantly reduce risks in any process that is exposed to financial leakage, that relies on manual controls to enforce policies, or that has high-risk events that need to be continuously monitored for exceptions.

Q: Where can people find more information about advanced financial controls?
A: A great place to start is Oracle’s advanced controls solution brief. We also encourage customers to listen to my podcast on the subject. And we recently published a procure-to-pay process white paper and an order-to-cash white paper so that customers can explore how advanced financial controls can help optimize these processes.

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