Pinned Items on Dashboards: A 7.7 Feature that Flew Under the Radar

While the release of policyIQ version 7.7 brought some big features to the software, there were a few smaller ones that didn’t gain as much attention as they deserved.  One of those is called Pinned Items.

Pinned Items

Pinned Items is a feature available to Site Administrators under the Tools & Settings menu on the left hand navigation.  This tool is used to “pin” items (Pages, Files, Public Form Templates, or Reports) to their user’s dashboard item “Pinned Items”.  Think of it as “universal favorites” for your site.  The appearance of the Dashboard item is not in the individual user’s control.  Instead, it appears automatically at the top of Dashboards, and only if an item has been pinned.  Moreover, the security settings of that item still apply even if the item has been pinned.  When all pinned items have been removed, the Dashboard item will be automatically removed from the dashboards on which it appeared.

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Finally, and most importantly, local security (security at the content level) still applies to items that are pinned.  For example, suppose you have a published page and you’d like to pin it.  The security settings on the page itself are set up to allow 5 our of 10 total users to see it.  If this page is pinned, it will appear automatically on the Dashboard for those 5 users.  Users who do not have viewership of the page will be unaffected, and wont see the page or Pinned Items Dashboard item.

Common uses of Pinned Items:

So far, clients have applied Pinned Items in several ways.  The three most common?

  1. Instructional content -Some Site Administrators have wanted a way to put instructional content (either related to their pIQ content, business practices, or
    pIQ-specific instructions) in front of their users that is ultra easy to find.
  2. Favorite Reports – Each user has the option to add reports to their favorites (which is another Dashboard item).  The problem is that each user has to individually add these themselves.  Pinning a report solves that problem, and opens it up to anyone with proper access.
  3. Others – ANYTHING that you want to put in front of your users.  Specific content, a reminder of a corporate policy, etc.

Let us know if you have questions about this feature, others, or best practices!  We are always happy to help.  policyIQ: 866-753-1231

 

2016 went by fast…here’s some features you may have missed!

As last year came to a close, our policyIQ team was discussing all the new ways customers could now use our product – and we managed to surpass our expectations for the year!  While some features simply add small functionality to the software, policyIQ’s 2016 releases contained HUGE improvements to visually displaying content, content history and increasing content efficiency.  And the great news is that 2017 is looking to perhaps even surpass last year’s features!

Linked Fields

Highly anticipated and incredibly useful, Linked Fields are going to change the way content in displayed in policyIQ forever.  A common need from our user base is to be able to view a Control page, but also see some information from the Risk it is mitigating.  Linked Fields make this a reality!

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Insert a Linked Field on your Control Template, and point it to a Risk template field of your choice.  In the example here, I’m just pulling in the field “Risk Description”.  The field is shown and the properties of which are displayed just above the field content.   You can add as many Linked Fields as you’d like!

Because the fields are linked, any changes made to the Risk Page description will be reflected and displayed on the Control Page.  This saves you time, and ultimately ensures that your content is consistent without having to think about it!

Custom Charts and Graphs

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Super simple to create, Custom Charts and Graphs can be used to provide oversight to a process within your policyIQ site, project manage, or any other number of uses.  Simply build a new Page Report and choose a chart or graph as the report layout.  That’s it!  When selecting items to display (columns), keep in mind that the top or first item selected will be used as the chart parameter (the way the chart or graph will be divided up).  That’s it!  Save your chart and even add it to your Dashboard for review.

HTML Field History

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Users can now have access to the history of their HTML fields in policyIQ.  Upon each save of data within an HTML field, version and change records are kept.  After a history is established, click the blue “History” link button just above the field when viewing a page to view the Field History.

On the right, select a version of the page to view.  Changes made within that version can be toggled on and off using the “Show Markup” toggle in the toolbar at the top.  If at at point you’d like to revert to an old version of the field, select the version to display, and then click “Restore” in the toolbar.  The history window will close, and your HTML field will show the reverted version.

Other Features

There are a whole lot of features that have been added over the last year!

Form Bundle Imports 

This tool allows a user to create their Form Bundles in Excel outside the system, and then import them into policyIQ.  This helps users work offline, and in some cases, much faster.

Sum/Average Report Results 

These rows can be added within the report builder to page detail reports by clicking the checkbox on the report builder screen.  Within the results of a report, two additional rows-sum and average- will be displayed as a calculation of numerical fields across all pages in the results.

Delete Open Forms

Form Administrators will love us for this one.  Those outstanding open forms that you just couldn’t get rid of?  Now you can delete them, and keep your form results perfectly right.

 

ASC 606, can your contract review tool do this?

Spreadsheets, email, shared network drives…

…this is where most of our critical work starts! With the deadline to comply with the Revenue Recognition Standard now in our sights, many of your corporate accounting peers have met the harsh reality that these commonly used tools are not meeting their contract review needs. Disconnected spreadsheets do not keep their reviewers in-step with each other’s developments. They are habitually shared via insecure channels and we often find, even with the best of intensions and development, breakfreelists, formulas, and formatting within a spreadsheet can be compromised resulting in an unreliable tool. Aggregation of data for analysis and consolidation of conclusions for management review are nearly impossible feats with dozens (or, certainly, thousands) of manual spreadsheets.

For those of you who are relatively new to the policyIQ community, you might not have heard that policyIQ has been a constant in the RGP toolbox, serving to solve our clients’ problems for nearly 15 years.  We don’t make commission on software sales and are not incentivized to upsell you or to sell you a new tool or module. In fact, we work hard to make it possible to serve all areas of your business within one platform—we don’t have extra modules to sell you!

The flexibility of policyIQ to be easily customized for various initiatives has made it possible for our clients to hit the ground running in applying our web-based technology to their pressing Revenue Recognition needs.

A company may utilize policyIQ for the full contract cycle or simply as a contract repository, centralizing access and simplifying assignment of contracts to reviewers for ASC 606 analysis. In addition to guiding the reviewer through the 5 Steps outlined in ASC 606 required for each detailed review of contracts that are in scope, policyIQ also provides a place to document evidence of the reviewer’s considerations and tools to leverage that information for necessary analysis. Key conclusions from each step are automatically pulled out into a summary. Reviewers add final notes to the summary and systematically route all related content for review and approval, as desired and customized for each client.

piq_benefitsforrevrecThe ability to report on results of contract reviews in aggregate gives way to analyses not possible in spreadsheets. Look across all Performance Obligations by Revenue Stream, Geography, Business Division, Over Time vs Point in Time, Sales Channel, or Reviewer, for example. Reports also aid in the management of contract reviews—in the assessment phase and with ongoing reviews. Report on issues as they are being identified, assignment of contract reviews, progress of reviews, and impact of the standard on various divisions or revenue streams. Use reports to easily identify those contracts that warrant follow-up action.

plansforleasesWe delivered many new features in 2016 and some were developed specifically to sharpen the Revenue Recognition solution. We are wrapping up another release for spring and have an impressive road map that will go into development while the spring release is undergoing formal testing. And did you hear that upgrades are included free-of-charge?

We’re here to serve and grow with you.

Can you say that about your Revenue Recognition tool? Reach out to schedule a tour of policyIQ’s capabilities for ASC 606, compliance, audit, policy management or your other pressing information management needs!

Earn free CPE: Introduction to policyIQ-October 20th

Please join us for our quarterly “Introduction to policyIQ” CPE event on Thursday, October 20th.

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Our quarterly training sessions are developed to provide general training on how policyIQ works, how content is created and stored in the site, and other basic functions of the software.  Based on feedback we’ve received in prior sessions, we’ll showcase our Reports feature a bit more fully this time around.

1 CPE is given to all attendees that participate in all polling questions, stay online for the full duration of the training, and complete the survey that follows the session.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Efficiency Throughout the SOX Process

In a number of blog posts, we’ve highlighted the ways that policyIQ can be used throughout the entire SOX process – from risk assessments through issue remediation.  This past Thursday, July 28th, we took an hour to walk through the entire process in a CPE webinar to highlight ways to create efficiency at each step.

Did you miss it?

Before we hit the highlights below, we want to point you to the session recording and the slides, both of which are available for download.

The Big Picture

We highlighted a number of big picture advantages of using policyIQ not just for SOX, but for all of your compliance initiatives.  We talked about…

  • Simplicity of rolling out and managing a cloud-based
  • Advantages of being able to assign security and access
  • And the efficiency of a single source of information through the entire compliance and audit environment.

A single source means that when you make a change in one place, that change feeds all of the different perspectives on the data.

Controls

Efficiency at Every Step

We also dug into the efficiency that can be gained at every step of the process.  Just some of those ideas are presented below.  We also mentioned additional training available for some steps, and have linked those training sessions.

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  1. Risk Assessments
    • Tie risk assessments at the 10K line item level to your risks and controls for ease of scoping.
  2. Control Updates & Review
    • Allow your control owners to make updates directly in policyIQ as things change, or require regular reviews of control documentation.
  3. Walkthroughs & Testing
    • Collaborate early (and often) with external auditors to ensure that your testing is capturing all of the detail expected.
  4. Issue Tracking & Remediation
    • Assign remediation plans to owners and use automated reminders to ensure responses are provided.
  5. Conclusions & Reporting
    • Utilize flexible reporting capabilities to trace issues back to the vulnerable risks and compensating controls to make a final determination about significant deficiencies or material weaknesses.

 

We also included the supporting functions that feed the process.

 

We’re ready to help you build more efficiency into your SOX program.  Contact us today and ask to speak with our client service team to walk you through implementing some new ideas!  Not yet a policyIQ client?  Contact us and ask us for a personalized demonstration!

Imports: Create content in mass, in minutes!

Clients that are looking to use a GRC product like policyIQ are often intimidated by the typically long process of uploading all of their data to the software.  policyIQ helps make this process easier by allowing users with the appropriate permissions to mass upload data to policyIQ pages.  While organizing your own data is often a tedious process, the end result is a pain-free upload to policyIQ.  Here’s how you can get started.

  1.  Decide what kind of page or data you’d like to create in bulk, and create a Page Template for it
    For many, this first step can be the most challenging.  It’s one thing to say, “We’d like to capture Control documentation in policyIQ.”  It’s another to have a very clear understanding of what types of data you want to capture, the order you’d like them to be in, and many other aspects of the data gathering process.  Having a clear vision for what you’d like to capture makes the rest of the data import process that much easier.
  2. Where will your new pages of data sit?
    Content in policyIQ sits in a folder structure much like any other PC or disk drive you might store electronic files in.  Many clients choose to store files in folders that are organized by department name, division, geographical location, or other such easy to understand structure.  Each client and company are unique, so decide what is going to make the most sense for your users.
  3. Who is going to have access to these newly created pages?
    We always suggest using the import process to “fill out” as many aspects of your new pages as possible, including security.  Yes, even security measures can be included in your spreadsheet, with page-by-page adjustments possible.  While you may not have the exact individual user accounts created prior to conducting the import, you certainly can and should create the groups.  Perhaps a group called “Policy Administrators” will have administrative rights to all new policy pages.  This group can be added to page security via import, and the have the users added to the group at a later, more convenient time.
  4. Comb through and organize your data in the spreadsheet
    Massaging your data can be a tedious process-but making sure you have the right data associated with the right page is essential.  Take your time making sure that your data is in the right place.
  5. Import!
    With just a few clicks, begin the Import process in policyIQ!  Hundreds or even thousands of pages can be created in just minutes.  Refresh the table to check the import progress, or go grab a cup of coffee.  By the time you return, you can refresh the site to find all of your newly created pages neatly indexed into the folders that you selected.
  6. Continue making changes in bulk.
    With the right permissions, users conducting the import can continue to make adjustments to their data.  Want to add a group to the security?  No problem.  Other, more “complicated” changes such as adding an additional field, field selection, or other change to the content of your import can be done as well, with a feature called Import to Update.

Sound too good to be true?  It really is that easy.  Contact a policyIQ expert today, and we can help you get started with your new policyIQ endeavor.  The last thing anyone wants to do is create pages one at a time.  The Import function makes that process lightning quick.

Snapshots: Every policyIQ site should take advantage of this Free feature!

An often under-utilized part of policyIQ sites is the Snapshot feature, found in the Tools & Settings menu on the left hand navigation.

A Snapshot is a virtual  and complete backup of your policyIQ site database, containing all of your data at the time the Snapshot was captured.  Clients can schedule and store up to 5 Snapshots for FREE each year.

Many clients will elect to have Snapshots taken at quarter-end, or after testing periods and a large amount of work has been completed in the site.  As various testing periods continue and build up over time, old ones can be deleted off of the site.  To schedule a Snapshot, simply click Snapshots, and then click Add in the toolbar.   Select a date that you’d like to have the Snapshot taken.  Because you are able to schedule many in advance, you could, in theory, schedule your whole year in just a couple of minutes. Then, click Save.

So what do you do with Snapshots once they’ve been taken, and how do you access them?  Snapshots can be restored and reviewed for free for a period of 30 days (once each year).  The Snapshot will be presented as a standard, up-to-date policyIQ site (even for older versions of policyIQ) and made available via a separate, unique URL.

Clients that want to go back and review previous year’s work that has since been deleted can rest easy knowing that they took Snapshots along the way.

Questions?  Give us a call at 866-753-1231, and we can talk you through the process.

A Simple policyIQ Success Story

Two years ago, a nationally known oil and gas company came to RGP and the policyIQ team seeking some much needed help with their existing one-dimensional SOX environment.  In addition, they were acquiring a smaller oil and gas company, meaning they would be supporting two different Risk and Control environments for a period of two years.

The company met with me for a period of two hours, and we discussed their then-current Risk and Control environment.  It was a flat world, with a mix of internal drives, Word documents, Excel documents, and various versions of all risks and controls were being confused by members of their organization.  Version control was a constant uphill battle, and organizing all these documents into an easily accessible file for their audit teams was a struggle, as well.

Enter policyIQ.

In a matter of four total weeks, we had designed Page Templates for each kind of document they wanted to store:  Process Narratives, Risks, Controls and Tests.  These templates were completed with fields of varying characteristics, capturing essential details of each document type.  Each Risk, Control, and Narrative were uploaded to Excel spreadsheets by document type, and mass-imported to policyIQ.  Hundreds of Risks, Controls and Narratives were built into the site within a matter of minutes.  Organizing the Excel files was done with the help of a policyIQ expert, while the input of data and manipulation of various content was done by the client on their own time.  Within each import, we were also able to link Risks to the appropriate Controls.  All documents were organized within the folder structure by process area to ensure a familiarity with their organization.  Because they were acquiring a smaller oil/gas company at the time, we were able to separate all Company A documents from Company B documents.

Users from both companies were granted various levels of access to the policyIQ site, and to each document type.  While we presented them with several really locked-down, intricate security options, they elected to go a more generic route.  A common phrase we kept coming to was, “Keep it simple.”   In this way, their group and user structure was easily understood by all members of their management group.

Today, the company continues to enjoy the paperless world of policyIQ, and the reporting capabilities it offers.  Many reports are saved once they’re built, so running these reports on-demand is one click.  Results of the reports can be exported out of the system, emailed, or accessed by other users, if desired.

Finally, once all necessary testing on controls has been completed for the year, we open up the Narrative, Risk, Control and Test Pages to external audit users.  We set up these particular external users so that they see the finished product of SOX work only, and don’t have access to other solutions areas of policyIQ that the company takes advantage of: Policy Management, Contract Management and many more.

Have you found yourself in a similar situation?  This is just one of hundreds of success stories that we see every year.  Give us a call at 412.263.3330 or send an email to support@policyIQ.com to schedule a free, no hassle custom demonstration with a policyIQ expert, and see if policyIQ can help your organization.

7.6 is here! Learn the details in an upcoming Release Notes training session!

Join us for our upcoming training session where we’ll review the Release Notes of the latest version of policyIQ, 7.6.  

Click the link and select “Register” to sign up for the session.  During this time, we’ll review all new features of policyIQ, and discuss the best practices around using them.  Our team is super excited to announce the development of a complete Approval Workflow for 7.6, which allows users to set up, edit an apply a step-by-step process for approving content in the site.  These workflows dictate the path a document takes during it approval process, and includes step to step email and dashboard communication.

We’ve also developed new Charts and Graphs for dashboards, giving an executive look to users desiring a visual way of displaying certain aspects of their content.

Security has been simplified in certain areas of the application, with the removal of older and outdated page security technology.  Content can now have its security edited in a couple quick clicks of the mouse, with fewer, more simplified options. As we often find in the technology world, and certainly in the case of policyIQ security, less is often more.

Be sure to join us for this demonstration of our new features!  Contact our support team at Support@policyIQ.com with any questions!

New for 7.6: Dashboard Charts and Graphs

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New to policyIQ 7.6 is the ability for users to create custom charts and graphs, and have them displayed on their Dashboard.  Many users enjoy having some portion of their data displayed in a visual way, and the Custom Charts and Graphs feature of policyIQ 7.6 answers that call.

Our vision for these custom items allows users to build a custom pie chart or bar graph containing policyIQ data of their choice.  These will each be built in the same manner that a report would be, but with a limitation on the number of columns of the report. Let’s take a look at how to make one.

Create a New Chart or Graph

Creating one of these is easy as pie…no, really!  Begin by creating a new Page report, and then selecting the “Layout” as Pie Chart.  For filters, think of what data you are looking to display in the chart. I ultimately want to see visual progress of my team’s work on updating the policies in my Employee Handbook folder.  For this example, I selected my Policy Template, which is going to give me Policy Pages only in my results. I also want to make sure that I am picking up only policies that sit within my general Employee Handbook, so I’ll add an additional filter that contains the folder that these policies sit within.

For Columns, we need to understand that this will be “how the pie is cut up”.  In other words, what is going to decide how my pie is sliced?  I chose Stage as my column, because  this will show me the progress of my pages becoming published.  When my project started, all existing policy pages were checked out to individuals throughout my department for review.  As they become edited, reviewed and approved (Published) again, I’ll know where our progress is at by their status within this chart.

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Save the report you’ve built, being sure to have named the report and selected the layout of your choice (in this example, Pie Chart).  Once saved, close the report builder window.  Back on your Dashboard, go to the toolbar and select Add > Chart to Dashboard.  Select the created chart, and click Save.  The chart will display on the Dashboard.

Moving Forward

Each time that you login, the newly created chart will display on your Dashboard.  To update the chart with the most up-to-date data, click the Refresh within the chart window. In an effort to keep policyIQ running quickly for our clients, our charts are set up to refresh only when the client elects to do so.  So, be sure to click the refresh or look at the time stamp (located under your chart image) of the most recent update to the chart in question.

There you go!  That’s all there is to it.  Think about the types of data you may want to capture in chart or graph form on your Dashboard.  If you need any help pulling it together, contact policyIQ Support–and you’ll be up and running in minutes.

Support@policyIQ.com