Need help getting a handle on your lease data?

The consensus is that the task of data collection to implement the new accounting standards is a daunting one.

Where are you at in your leases project? Have you settled on a lease accounting system? Do you have a plan for how you will gather all of your leases and begin pulling the critical data together? How confident are you that you’ve identified all of hiding places in your organization for the lease information including shared folders, binders, SharePoint sites, filing cabinets, spreadsheets, George’s desk, and even camouflaged within other agreements?

One thing we can be confident about—if the new accounting standards have highlighted your organization’s critical need to better manage all of your contracts and agreements, you’re not alone.

Of course, I’m about to tell you that we can help!

  • policyIQ is centrally accessible and easy to populate—helping you to bring order to all of your decentralized structured and unstructured lease data.
  • Easily customize templates and standardize the approach to capturing lease data (and complement your lease accounting tool).
  • Use reports within/across leases to examine data and identify gaps.
  • Customize workflow and leverage policyIQ’s secure platform to request specific data from specific individuals and fill gaps.
  • Attach reference materials or supporting documentation, as needed.
  • Customize policyIQ for each area to store executed leases and track lease data on an ongoing basis.
  • Simplify oversight for management review at a high level.
  • Implement controls and data governance providing evidence of entire data collection process and resulting data.

And if you’re not sure that you have adequate leasing talent on staff, RGP can support you with subject matter expertise to lead and/or support your team and ensure successful implementation of the new standards. If you haven’t worked with us in the past, what you will experience is a different level of professional partnership. We will transfer knowledge and leave your team better equipped to address challenges that arise in the future.

Contact us to learn more about our talent and technology to support your data collection, contract review, compliance, audit, policy management and other initiatives. We’re looking forward to working with you!

RGP engaged with audit professionals in Orlando


The policyIQ team joined our RGP colleagues at the Institute of Internal Auditors’ 2017 General Audit Management (GAM) Conference in Orlando, Florida on March 20th-22nd. Once again, this was a great event packed with learning and networking opportunities!

Representatives from RGP included:

The conference was attended by more than a thousand audit professionals and we were only able to speak to about 200 of them. If we didn’t get to have a conversation with you, here’s what might have transpired had we connected:


The conference sessions inspired some great discussions!

We carried on the conversations started by the keynote speakers and others. We talked about the hats that auditors are asked to wear, the importance of the internal audit function and profession, and the value of independence, maintaining integrity and having the courage to do the right thing against, sometimes, great personal risk. With integrity being among the core values at RGP and 20+ years’ experience serving as a professional services firm in this field, we are charged by discussions in this vein and by the opportunity to encourage our clients and peers in the audit profession.

We talked about how the times have changed. Once upon a time, we recognized that not all companies were performing regular risk assessments and we were encouraging them to get started with annual risk assessments. In the last few years, we see that the demands of business, technology, competition, culture and so many more are requiring companies to be more nimble and to both assess and respond to risk on a continuous basis. We participated in discussions around what it takes to be prepared and resilient in these times and how RGP’s Data Solutions practice can help companies to better collect, manage, secure and leverage their data.

Cyber security was a hot topic again this year! We discussed the struggles that some companies experience in identifying and developing the necessary expertise to address the present and growing need to address cyber security. We heard that companies are looking across various functions to address their security concerns. RGP’s maturity in integrated solutions, leveraging expertise across information security, audit, data solutions, process improvement (and more) allows us to be responsive, provide a high quality service and to tailor comprehensive solutions to each client’s needs.


We shared our story…how RGP and policyIQ stand out from the pack.

Another theme in our conversations with other professionals at GAM: how RGP is different. There’s certainly no shortage of consulting firms and technology providers at these things, right? The vendor hall can be a little bit intimidating for the introverts among us. At the RGP booth and throughout the conference, we worked to jump quickly to how we at RGP and our GRC Technology are different from most others.

Our consultants have 10-20 years’ experience. They are true subject matter experts who can lead your initiative or project and work alongside your team with valuable knowledge to share and teach. Rather than the checklist approach, our consultants build tailored solutions and collaborative partnerships. Remember the mention of integrity being a core value? We have a track record of long-term, trusted partnerships, evidenced by a 100% retention rate of our top 50 clients.

RGP also has 70+ offices around the globe—these are our offices, not affiliates. This means our people, our culture, and our standards; therefore, we deliver consistently high quality results worldwide.

And our GRC technology, policyIQ, packs a powerful punch in a nimble and affordable, centrally accessible platform. We serve companies from risk assessment through compliance initiatives, testing, reporting of findings and remediation like many other enterprise GRC tools. We also provide solutions for ASC 606 contract review, lease data capture, contract administration, policy management, automation of evidence request and collection, 302 certifications, legal and data room, support for integration with mergers and acquisitions, account reconciliation management and many more ALL IN ONE TOOL. It’s a matter of security configuration (part of the information governance planning that we guide you through as a matter of course at no additional charge). People find it amazing that they can do so much in one easy to use tool.

What’s more, a solution or initiative can be implemented in policyIQ in 4-6 weeks—not months or years, like most other products. And policyIQ is so easy to setup and use that NO IT RESOURCES ARE REQUIRED. We like to include and engage IT in the early conversations because a company can better leverage policyIQ for various departments and initiatives when the IT department includes it among their suite of solutions for their stakeholders. (Pssst—it saves time and money for IT departments, too!)


Next year, we’re going to have the biggest booth and the loudest parties!

Just kidding. You know, I often start off feeling a little bit small at these huge conferences. We don’t have the biggest booth or the most extravagant events to woo attendees to come and visit with us. (Although we heard from a bunch of folks that we did have the best swag this year with our super cool phone charger pens.)

Still, every year, I leave energized!

We deliver excellence! We have amazing clients and valuable partnerships and we build on them every year. I don’t have to feel pressure to be bigger and flashier to land sales. The truth of who we are and what we have to offer at RGP holds tremendous value, builds solid relationships and is a great story to share.

If we didn’t get to shake hands at GAM or elsewhere, yet, and you’d like to hear the good news first-hand, please reach out to any of us. We’d love to buy you a cup of coffee and learn about your business issues that we’ll help to remedy.

 

 

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!

New policyIQ Solution: Detailed Contract Review for Rev Rec

Is your project for bringing your company into compliance with the Revenue Recognition Standard underway?

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With the January 2018 effective date fast approaching, organizations (public, private, and non-profit) are pressed to come up with a plan to review each of their agreements, and for each one that is in scope, to work through each of these five steps:

5-steps

RGP’s Revenue Recognition subject matter experts (SME) have developed an approach that effectively addresses all steps of the complex standard. And, again, RGP has gone the extra distance to develop a technology solution that will help you to tackle this effort. Beyond the repository for contracts and the secure data room for document review and project management, policyIQ now has a solution to both simplify and standardize detailed contract reviews while providing oversight, progress reporting, visibility for management review, and evidence for external auditors.

policyiq-rr-solution

If you haven’t yet defined your approach for assessing your organization’s contracts and setting a course for compliance with ASC 606 by the deadline, don’t worry. We have a complete, cost effective solution and we’re ready to help you make up some ground. Contact us for more information.

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.

Upcoming CPE Training from RGP

Thursday, June 30th: RGP Training Event (1 CPE Credit available)

In our quarterly financial reporting update, RGP’s subject matter expert, Shauna Watson provides a financial reporting and accounting review and analysis of the latest and upcoming FASB pronouncements, including lease accounting, financial instruments, and revenue recognition. By attending this session, you will learn what you need to know to comply with these changes and help your company to stay a step ahead.

1 CPE is available for your participation. This is a Group – Internet based basic level course and no prerequisites or advanced preparation is required.

To be eligible, please stay on for the duration of the webcast, participate in the polling questions launched during the session and complete the CPE survey.

Click here to sign up for the event on Thursday, June 30th!

New Company, New Controls: policyIQ Handled it All

Any quick look around the marketplace reveals that companies big and small are constantly acquired, bought, sold and merged on a constant basis.  Many of these public companies then have to figure how how their SOX compliance will be affected, and this can put a ton of stress on the audit teams that bear the responsibility of “making compliance happen”.

Fortunately for companies using policyIQ that have purchased or merged with others, the SOX issue goes from, “Can we make this transition in policyIQ, as well?” to “WOW.  That was pretty easy!”

A recent long time policyIQ client acquired a company, and each had their own set of risks and controls.  Ultimately, their goal was to combine these two separate entities into one SOX environment, and easily distinguish between SOX work from Company A and Company B.

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Our team and product made this easy.  To begin, we simply added a single-select field on their controls and risks called “Entity”, with options for Company A or B.  By doing so, we created an  easily reportable way of sorting content from one company to another.  This was conducted by an Import to Update (via an Excel document), meaning that much of the work was easily done in a simple spreadsheet offline.  Simple!

All new documentation from Company B was then mass imported into policyIQ a few days later.

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Some companies might like this arranged differently, and that makes total sense.  We had discussed using additional folders to distinguish the risks and controls from company to company.  Advantages?  One less field per page, and a more organized folder structure-less content per folder.  Disadvantages?  There are more folders, and some folks like a really simple structure.  A difference in results or reporting?  None!

Do you feel like you should partner with a policyIQ expert to work on your SOX work this year?  Do you have  a couple of ideas you’d  like to run by us?  Send us an email!   Support@policyIQ.com

New FASB guidance impacts most US companies

Today, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued its final accounting standards update (ASU) regarding the classification and measurement of financial instruments. Although this project was initially a joint project with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the FASB abandoned a converged approach1 and decided to mostly retain existing U.S. GAAP requirements. Significant changes in the new standard include requiring:

  1. Investments in equity securities (with some exceptions) to be measured at fair value with changes recognized in earnings,
  2. Recognition of changes in fair value of an entity’s own financial liabilities measured at fair value separately within other comprehensive income rather than net income, and
  3. Changes to disclosure requirements.

Effective Date

 The ASU is effective for public companies for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within those fiscal years. For private companies, the standard is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, and for interim periods within fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019.

Companies will be allowed to adopt the guidance on the presentation of their own credit risk upon issuance of the ASU in financial statements of annual or interim reporting periods that have not yet been issued or, private companies, not yet been made available for issuance.

Existing GAAP Retained

Although the FASB initially proposed holistic changes to classification and measurement of all financial instruments, they finally decided to retain current U.S. GAAP related to:

  1. Classification and measurement categories for financial instruments other than equity investments,
  2. The method for classifying financial instruments,
  3. Bifurcation of embedded derivatives in hybrid financial assets, and
  4. Accounting for equity method investments (including impairment of such investments).

Equity Instruments

All equity investments in unconsolidated entities that are not accounted for using the equity method of accounting or are variable interest entities (VIE) will generally be measured at fair value through earnings (e.g. current U.S. GAAP trading classification). There will no longer be an available-for-sale classification for equity securities with readily determinable fair values.

For equity securities that do not have a readily determinable fair value, a practicability exception is allowed for companies to record investments at cost, less impairment, and subsequently adjust for observable price changes. This practicability exception is not available to broker dealers within the scope of Accounting Standard Codification (ASC) 940 or investments companies within the scope of ASC 946.

The following flowchart further illustrates the new requirements for equity securities:

ASC_chart1.png

Loans and Debt Securities

 In a dramatic departure from the original exposure draft which suggested all financial instruments (loans and debt securities) should be measured at fair value through earnings, the final ASU retained current U.S. GAAP for these types of assets.

Financial Liabilities and the Fair Value Option

If the fair value option is elected for a financial liability, current U.S. GAAP requires that any periodic change in fair value be recognized in earnings. Under the ASU, changes in fair value that result from a change in the entity’s own credit risk will be recognized separately in other comprehensive income. The accumulated gains and losses due to changes in the entity’s own credit will be recycled from accumulated other comprehensive income to earnings when the financial liability is settled before maturity.

The FASB allows, but does not require, preparers to measure the change in the entity’s own credit risk as being the portion of the periodic change in fair value that is not due to changes in a base market rate such as a risk-free interest rate. A reporting entity will be able to use an alternative method if it believes it to be a more faithful measurement of the change in credit risk for the entity.

Disclosures

The following chart illustrates the ASU’s new disclosure requirements:

ASC_chart2

What Should You Do Now?

 Eliminating the ability to record marketable equity securities at fair value through other comprehensive income will increase earnings volatility for many companies. Accordingly, a plan to communicate the anticipated impact to further earnings should be developed and tailored specifically for investors, analysts, shareholders and other interested parties. If you have questions about how this may impact your company, please contact us.

The ASU can be downloaded from the FASB website by clicking here