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!

ICYMI: Assessments and Scoping in policyIQ

Did you miss our recent training session on completing our SOX Risk Assessments and scoping exercises in policyIQ?  Not to worry – we have you covered!

How Can I Catch Up?

If you want to get into the details, we have the training session and materials available for download!

  • You can access the slides here.
  • You can also view the recording from our policyIQ training page.
    The training page is linked from your policyIQ login page – and available from within the online Help Guide.  If you don’t have access to the training page, please reach out and we’ll send you the link!

Just the Highlights, Please!

This training session aimed to ensure that participants are able to…

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We discussed common SOX risk assessments at the financial statement line item level, targeting risk factors like…

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In addition to illustrating how to create the calculation directly in policyIQ, we also acknowledged that some folks love their MS Excel process.  policyIQ can handle that, too, through the import option!

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Then we took a close look at the relationships between the content that allows for the most effective scoping options.

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And finally, we walked through the reports that provide the final step in the scoping process.

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We would love to help YOU get started on your risk assessments in policyIQ, so that we can link into your SOX work for ease of annual scoping.  Contact us today and we’ll meet with you at no cost to help you get on your way!

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.

 

 

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!

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:

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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.

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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.

Talking about Audit Efficiency in Atlanta (TAC 2016)

RGP and the policyIQ team were honored to be invited to speak at the Atlanta chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)’s conference, held on Friday, September 16.

policyIQ’s Managing Director, Chris Burd, tackled the topic of “Ways that Technology Can Expedite Internal Audit’s Daily Work”.  With attendance for the session well over 200, the topic was clearly one that generated a lot of interest.

An unscientific “show of hands” poll of the audience found that only about half of the attendees currently utilize a software application that is designed for Internal Audit or Governance, Risk and Compliance programs.  For those not utilizing an application, the session generated a number of ideas and stressed the value of having a tool to expedite and streamline the process.

For those that do use an internal audit application, however, the conversation also allowed the attendees to ask and offer suggestions to others of ways to improve their current audit work.  The discussion followed the following steps in the Audit Cycle:

auditcycle

Two specific areas that were called out as areas of interest by the attendees were the work of Evidence Collection and that of Issue Tracking.

Evidence Collection

In evidence collection, we talked about ways to automate the evidence collection process, as well as some of the challenges of doing so.   While a fully automated evidence collection process is the ideal end goal, the discussion touched on making sure that you also provide the right amount of training and oversight to those individuals participating in the process, to alleviate stress of a new process and minimize the risk of invalid evidence submission.

Issue Management

The topic of issue management focused primarily on the idea that issues are most effectively managed when they can be easily linked to the audit testing, controls, processes, or risks from which they originated.  Having a central system to manage risk assessments, internal controls and procedures, audit testing and issues allows for this flow of information.

 Looking for Technology that is Simple to Use and Implement!

As a sponsor, RGP was also able to meet with attendees as they stopped by to say hello.  Folks that stopped by to talk about technology almost invariably said the same thing – they wanted to find software that was easy to use and easy to implement.  Long and costly implementations caused many to simply continue doing things in the same Microsoft Office tools that they have always used.

Do you want to learn more about how to make your internal audit team more efficient and effective?  Contact us today and we’d be happy to meet to talk about some of the specific ideas and how policyIQ can meet those needs!

The Challenge: Technical Memos; The Solution: policyIQ

takecontrolWhen we think about all of our compliance initiatives, policy requirements and technical accounting adjustments that companies have to deal with, we often focus on specific types of initiatives and content – risks, financial or operational controls, contract reviews, audit testing, etc.

Recently we were approached with a question that really took us back to the basics of “content management”.

The Challenge:  Technical Memos and more

“Technical Memos, Accounting Documents, Whitepapers, Footnotes, Position Statements…these things are not stored in a consistent manner.

“It is very difficult to locate documentation that is stored in various formats on hard drives and shared drives…and sometimes still in filing cabinets!”

Our audience – in this case a gathering of SEC professionals – had been sharing ideas to better manage the various documentation, technical memos, position statements and whitepapers that they needed to retain.  Network drives, paper formats, or email archives were just not the right solution.  They acknowledged that many of them struggled with ease of access, security of the documentation, version control and audit trails of changes.

The Solution: policyIQ

We were invited to speak to the group about policyIQ, and how the application – with its simple interface, cloud-based access and flexible structure – provided a perfect solution.   By implementing policyIQ, even with a small group of licensed users and a larger audience of free read-only access, their organizations could benefit from:

  • Centrally Accessible
  • Searchable
  • User Friendly
  • Customizable Folder Hierarchy
  • Version Control
  • Tailored Security
  • No IT Resources Required
  • Multiple Solutions in One Tool

 

Regardless of what type of information or content your organization needs to get a handle on, consider policyIQ’s flexible structure and simple interface to help organize, distribute and manage your critical business content.  Accounting, HR, Legal, IT, Operations – and even your Board of Directors!  All departments need a simple way to manage critical content.

Contact us to find out more.

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.

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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!