We’ve been taking “Change” for granted: Shining a spotlight on the Audit Trail

Ask any long time policyIQ client and they’ll tell you that it is unfathomable to imagine managing their content without that history of changes.  policyIQ has been around for 10 years and for 10 years, the Change History has been there providing an audit trail – making sure that every time a page is touched by a user, there is a record of what fields were changed, who made the change, and when the change was made.  The policyIQ Reporting tool allows you to build complex queries based on those changes -such as who made recent changes, what content was changed between a specified date range, what pages had a specific field updated in the last six months, and more.

An audit trail is a critical requirement of any content management application.  But in recent conversations with prospective clients and industry analysts, it has come up often that an audit trail is something that is difficult to implement with some content management solutions – particularly solutions built in-house or via Sharepoint – and we don’t want you to take this fantastic feature for granted!

Why do you need an audit trail?

There are lots of great reasons for having an audit trail, but it boils down to this: You want to know that the information in your system is accurate, updated appropriately and by the right people, and that nothing has been removed or deleted without appropriate approvals – and you want proof.

  • Fraud Prevention and Detection – I don’t like even having to mention this, but the potential for fraud is a fact of life. Knowing that there is an audit trail should prevent fraud attempts. If you can’t prevent it, though, you’ll be able to track down the source of the changes without much effort.
  • Oversight and Peace of Mind – With a complete audit trail, you don’t have to worry that changes are happening to your content without your knowledge – or that you won’t be able to track down the source of those changes.

Cautionary tale: The policyIQ audit trail is no joke. 

If you collaborate on content in policyIQ, you are familiar with the options to send emails as you pass content along to another user, customizing the message that gets sent out.  But did you know that the custom text you include in those emails is captured in the audit trail?  You might be tempted to think of these “Notes” as pure email text, but those words will be captured in policyIQ forever – and visible to anyone who may have edit rights to the page in the future.


Rule of thumb?  Don’t put anything in the “Notes” field of policyIQ that you wouldn’t be comfortable putting into an email that will be read by the entire company.

This entry was posted in Features and tagged by Chris Burd. Bookmark the permalink.

About Chris Burd

Chris is the Vice President of the policyIQ group at RGP. She gets geeky about compliance and technology, and gets to spend every day working at the crossroads of the two. With policyIQ since 2005, Chris has worked with hundreds of policyIQ clients to implement technology and enhance their internal compliance environment. In past lives, Chris worked as a system implementation consultant, a e-commerce specialist, a customer service call center manager, and - for one short but memorable summer during high school - a machine operator on midnight shift in a plastics factory. In her free time, she spoils her nieces, reads too many books, and spends more time than she should taking photos of her cats. She's on a mission to visit the hometown of every US President - so far managing to get to 14. She would like to be a rock star when she grows up.

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