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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Oversight Over Financial Controls

Oversight Systems has released the 3.0 edition of its software, which specializes in what the company calls "transaction integrity monitoring."
These days, the most obvious application for such software would seem to be for
compliance purposes, and indeed Oversight gets a lot of business driven by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). But, as Oversight Systems likes to point out, a system installed to meet a compliance requirement can have ongoing strategic value.

In the case of Oversight Systems, this value comes from the product's ability to catch financial irregularities generally, be they cases of outright fraud or simple mistakes.

Chris Rossie, VP of business development for Oversight Systems, explains further. "We come with pre-programmed integrity checks, with the reasoning that auditors and fraud examiners use," he says "It's a series of tests that determines whether something is worth further examination."

Oversight implements this approach by mapping processes (e.g. customer and vendor creation) and making sure that every step in a given process is regular. Rossie stresses that Oversight can catch things that can't usually be found within the content of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. For example, Oversight can identify a single order that an ERP order will read as two or more orders (with, for example, a -01 added to the original).

Oversight also catches problems outside ERP. Rossie tells the story of one customer in particular. "Someone did a bulk data loaded that changed a vendor name and address to that of an employee," he recalls. "After the check run, they changed it back to the original vendor name. That occurred outside the ERP system." Still, Oversight, which has no problem working with historical and forensic data, had no problem identifying just what had gone on in this case.

Oversight provides its own portal in which users can examine irregularities in real-time. The company also has a reporting tool.

posted by Brian Moran @ 9:45 AM   1 comments

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