Fierce Competitors are Built on Strong Core Processes

If your goal is to be a fierce competitor and to protect and defend your organization against the never-ending barrage of risks and change, a great place to start is by strengthening your core processes.

Policy management is the backbone of successful and sustainable organizations.

What do you think of when you think of policies? Does your Human Resources department manage a set of company policies that you have to attest to annually? Maybe you recognize the fact that your organization has a password policy and a policy regarding the use of social media on company equipment and company time.

In our recent webinar with guest presenter Michael Rasmussen, we heard a whole host of examples and reasons why organizations should be concerned with policies. If, up until now, you have not been particularly concerned about the value of your organization’s policies, you might want to lean in and peruse these notes from the Blueprint for Effective Policy Development and Management session:

Raise your hand if you are aware of where to find your organization’s index of official policies representing all areas of your business. Mr. Rasmussen asked a similar question of his audience at a recent conference and just 2% of attendees acknowledged awareness of an index maintained at the enterprise level of the organization’s policies.

Only a very small number of organizations see policies as the critical documents that they are. Mr. Rasmussen noted that policies are often not given proper attention and are strewn about in various systems, websites, shared drives and so on. Employees don’t know where to go to find documents or whether the document they found holds the latest version of the policy. In our session, Rasmussen emphasized why employees and leaders should value policies and highlighted some examples of how policies are at the core of every organization’s critical work:

  • Policies are GOVERNANCE documents.
    • Policies are critical documents.
    • They help to set boundaries to reliably achieve objectives
    • Policies ensure consistent business behavior and transactions.
  • Policies are RISK documents.
    • The existence of each policy was preceded by the identification of a risk!
    • Still, many business leaders do not think of risks when they think of policies and many do not tie organization policies to risks.
    • Policies help to identify risks and control risks within certain boundaries.
  • Policies are COMPLIANCE documents.
    • Policies help us to act with integrity as it relates to
      • Regulatory requirements
      • Contract obligations
      • Code of conduct
      • Values and Ethics
      • Corporate social responsibility
      • And so much more

Policies are at the core of all Governance, Risk, and Compliance work.
If the advantages of effective policy development and management are not compelling enough to motivate your leaders to establish policies throughout the organization, this regulatory environment might force the issue. An evidence trail is critical in today’s regulatory environment. Policy management requires a complete system of record and an audit trail.

policyIQ provides company and division leaders with a highly adaptable technology for managing the full range of policy, compliance, and audit needs in one cost-effective platform scalable from specific regulatory environments and department functions to division business units and at the enterprise level. Maintaining a clear and defensible audit trail is paramount to the service and benefit provided by our GRC technology.

In part I of the policy management educational series hosted by RGP’s policyIQ team, Michael Rasmussen highlighted the considerations that are critical for development of a policy management strategy, the roles that contribute to policy management, and he drilled deep into the effective policy management lifecycle.

In part II, Michael will concentrate on the second half of the effective policy management lifecycle. The attendees of our first session gave rave reviews of the presentation. Be sure to register for Part II: Engage the Front Lines Through Effective Policy Communication.

We also encourage you to peruse upcoming events hosted by the policyIQ team. This audience, in particular, might be interested in our Introduction to policyIQ session that is delivered quarterly and demonstrates how organizations leverage policyIQ to establish consistent documentation templates, prescribe workflow and approval processes, communicate and distribute policies, monitor and enforce compliance with policies, and to establish a maintenance process for your critical documentation.

Click here to register for the sessions that interest you and we invite you to reach out to us (information@policyIQ.com or 866.753.1231) with questions about effective policy management, policyIQ (our governance, risk, and compliance technology), or if you could use the support and expertise of a RGP professional to help get your program off the ground.

We look forward to seeing you in future sessions!

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!

2016 Trainings from RGP!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for some informative web training sessions during 2016! Some of RGP’s brightest minds have givem you insight into their corners of the business world, and how they apply to companies nearly everywhere.

 

Should you have missed a session or two, click on the titles below to access the recordings. We are currently planning another full schedule for 2017, please check us out at rgp.webex.com and we look forward to having you join us in the New Year!

 

FINANCE & ACCOUNTING

 

 

M&A Considerations Series

HUMAN CAPITAL

INFORMATION MANAGEMENT

SUPPLY CHAIN

GENERAL BUSINESS ISSUES

Are you Ready for the new GDPR Regulation? Practical Implications and Data Privacy Best Practices

policyIQ

trainings

New policyIQ Solution: Detailed Contract Review for Rev Rec

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

rr-headlines

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.

Spotlight on Higher Education

We hope that everyone is enjoying summer break and looking forward to a productive and fruitful 2016-17 school year! For the same amount of time that this year’s college seniors have been in school, policyIQ has been in the business of supporting organizations with more effective and efficient Policy Management. To that end, we recognize that these supports are critical:
PolicyManagement

Unique Needs of Higher Ed

We are grateful for the partnerships that we have with institutions of higher education to support their unique needs in policy management. Similar to the healthcare organizations that we serve, educational organizations have internal/administrative policies and procedures, as well as policy documentation that is directed to the audience that they serve. In the case of schools, we are talking about their students and faculty.

Organizations with both internal and external audiences often oversee various methods or systems for disseminating information. Part of the challenge that they are continually working to meet is keeping track of all of their documentation, recalling what system it is managed from and where it is in the process of upkeep and compliance. While policyIQ can certainly be the home base for all documentation in organizations that have decentralized audiences, it could also be the hub for mapping documentation to its various outlets. By using the database behind policyIQ to track precisely where documentation is to be found, to whom it must be made available, and which processes are related to it, organizations can ensure that the latest iterations are properly communicated to all pertinent audiences.

Remember, policyIQ is also a great place to capture compliance documentation!

Is your staff properly trained and certified on key procedures? Do you have a means for monitoring and verifying, in real time, who has signed-off on corporate policies? Does your organization have a central point of reference for standards and regulatory requirements? Can you map your organization’s policies and procedures to said requirements and provide evidence of coverage?

“YES!”

This can be your resounding answer to all of these questions with policyIQ.

Today, “Governance, Risk and Compliance” is relevant for organizations of all shapes and sizes—public and not-for-profit. Powerful and affordable, policyIQ can help your organization to be more effective and efficient, too! Contact us at support@policyIQ.com to begin or expand your implementation today.