How many spreadsheets are you trying to manage for ASC 606?

RGP is hearing from Public and Private companies who are working to get a handle on their Revenue Recognition compliance efforts. As with many new initiatives, most of those tasked with the responsibility of rolling out a contract review process began with authoring the process in Excel. This particular process, more than some, requires a number of people with varying technical skills and technical accounting expertise to work through a long checklist or multiple spreadsheets full of questions and considerations. And, like many others, these teams are racked with frustration over the common ills of spreadsheet-based processes:

  • Almost as soon as the tool is put to use, the version is out of date and the data does not reconcile with other versions.
  • It is difficult to track and understand which version is the latest or the “best”.
  • Often, spreadsheets are not properly secured and suffer unintended changes.
  • Changes to data attributes in the spreadsheets can have significant impact on conclusions.
  • Sharing and communicating lessons and conclusions is a massive and disjointed effort.
  • It is difficult to roll-up the results from multiple spreadsheets for analysis and reporting to management and auditors.
  • If multiple people must work in and make adjustments to the spreadsheet, it can be remarkably challenging to trace the changes back to the appropriate party.
  • It is virtually impossible to dictate order of responsibilities and to consistently communicate and enforce an approval process.

RGP has a few remedies that can help you to treat or avoid these ills.

Private Companies –  RGP has a proven Revenue Recognition solution that can help companies from your early assessment through planning how you will fill gaps in policies and systems and can aid your team with the implementation of agreed upon solutions, controls, policies and associate training and communication.

Public Companies – Those who worked to tackle ASC 606 compliance on your own in year one can certainly still call on us to evaluate your program and to identify and guide you to address and close gaps.

All Companies can take advantage of RGP’s proprietary tool, policyIQ, to remedy the ills associated with spreadsheet based processes. Companies have the option of

  1. leveraging the flexible and configurable policyIQ to automate your own checklist or questionnaire or
  2. you can adopt the RGP solution with pre-built templates that guide the reviewers through the contract review process.

In either case, you can put your spreadsheet worries to rest and bring centralized access, version control, workflow, reporting for analysis and management review to your Revenue Recognition program.

Contact us to learn more about our technical accounting expertise, project support, and proprietary technology: support@policyIQ.com.

2018 GAM Conference – policyIQ will be in Las Vegas!

policyIQ Product Manager Travis Whalen will be representing policyIQ at the 2018 GAM (General Audit Management) Conference on March 12-14 at the Aria in Las Vegas!  Come by the RGP booth to learn more about RGP’s premier consultation services, professional service lines,  and areas of expertise – all across the globe.

In addition, Travis will be on hand representing policyIQ – RGP’s SaaS (software as a service) for many areas of the Governance, Risk and Compliance world.  Stop by to learn about our highly customizable software solutions for organizations large and small, public and private, including:

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Stop by the RGP booth to say hi to Travis, learn about RGP, and take a peak at policyIQ!  We hope to see you there.

 

Community Credit Unions Need policyIQ

We’ve talked a lot about the breadth of industries that are served by policyIQ, and the diversity of our users.  When it comes to who can benefit from policyIQ, we have yet to find an organization for which we have no value to add.  We also recognize that some industries and niches need our product more than others, and community credit unions are a perfect fit.

Community Credit Unions Need policyIQcreditunion

While financial regulations can be intense and difficult to navigate, community credit unions need compliance technology that is simple and easy to use.

  • Fast and easy setup
  • Simple navigation, with little user training required
  • Flexibility that allows a single technology to be used for many needs
  • Incredibly low cost for small teams
  • Dedicated user support team committed to exceptional service

Are you exploring compliance technology for your organization?  Find out how policyIQ meets your needs by contacting us today!

policyIQ 7.9 is all about YOU!

With policyIQ 7.9 just around the corner, customers have been asking, “What’s next?”  The answers are exciting, and a welcome sight as they enhance current policyIQ features and provide increased flexibility moving, and a better user experience that saves time and clicks moving forward.

Many clients have sought a way for their users to access critical business information – faster than we have before.  Common questions have centered around their users’ folders – “How can my users get to THEIR content faster and with less clicks?”  The answer comes in the form of Favorite Folders in policyIQ 7.9.  Each user’s account will be able to mark any number of folders in the structure as favorites, and access them from a separate, smaller structure – making the process of accessing their relevant  content easier than ever.

With the addition of Field Rules and Calculations in policyIQ in version 7 releases, double checking the proper application of these properties is imperative – especially with several of each going on at once.  The Page Template preview window will now operate much like a “test page” of sorts – with Rules and Calculations each operating within the template preview window.  Historically, a user would need to create a few actual pages to test out the application of their rules/calculations.  This can now all be done in preview, requiring less steps to ensure your work has been added how you like.

Have a field on one template that you want to use on another?  Getting this set up has never been easier.  Fields can now be copied from one template to another with just a few flicks of the mouse!  Easier maintenance, and much faster work.

And finally, policyIQ will introduce a new HTML editor for long text field on pages and forms!  Complete with a new pasting option, the enhanced editor is a simpler and easier to work with HTML editor.  The new pasting option is specifically designed to aid users that copy content from Microsoft Word and paste directly into policyIQ HTML fields.  This copy feature is built with code that targets, reads, and aligns the formatting challenges that many web HTML editors face when having content from another program pasted into them.  Formatting is copied over to the editor with near perfect results, regardless of where the content comes from!

We also have developed several smaller additions that will help administrators clean up their sites, including a fast way to strip file attachments, copy pages and so much more!

There’s a lot to look forward to in policyIQ 7.9.  Please send us your questions, comments and you’ll be hearing from us very soon.

Suffering low morale and a disconnect between executives and those doing the work every day?


 

 

 

 

Art Weeast has helped a number of organizations to “think beyond the task of documenting policies and procedures to the intelligence of the information that is in those documents.” In other words, think of the value or purpose that the documents serve. One of his objectives, as he trains organizations on how to create valuable documentation, is to “keep what’s in it for me, from the end user’s or the employee’s perspective, in mind as you develop content”. The end user and all stakeholders might consider, “What problems and questions can this documentation solve?”

To demonstrate the application of Process Intelligence practices (as Mr. Weeast termed his work), consider three common problems:

  1. Employees and Management do not value the documentation (mainly the procedures).
  2. Work tasks are not clearly connected to executive priorities.
  3. Business Units/Departments/Functions do not collaborate on cross-functional processes, often leading to tension and decreased productivity.

With Art Weeast’s help, let’s tackle each of these problems one at a time.

The problem faced by many (maybe most) organizations: Employees and Management do not value the documentation.

Consider how you can make your documentation useful. Follow this three step process:

  1. Set a course to establish more comprehensive documentation. Rather than tracking just the steps of the procedure, frequency, who performs…think of all of the everyday business questions that come up related to the procedures. Add Roles and Responsibilities, Applications Used, Definitions, Procedure Input and Output–these fields will help you to address common problems. Read further to see how.
  2. Make it easy for process owners and your front-line doers to capture the documentation. You don’t have to complete the fields in consecutive order. Starting with the procedure, then considering what leads into the procedure and what the outcome of the procedure is before moving on to the purpose and other data is a much easier thought process.
  3. Make use of the intelligence that is inherent in your documentation to solve business problems. With updated, comprehensive procedures, you can address common problems…effectively and efficiently!

Put your information to work for you!

Another common problem: Work tasks are not clearly connected to executive priorities. 

The front line doers, on a day to day basis, do more repeatable processes than executives do. At the executive level, it is unlikely that you will see procedures. This is the root cause of the disconnect between the tasks and executive priorities. It’s no wonder that executives generally don’t feel the value of the documentation and therefore, the employees don’t feel the priority from the executives to create and maintain the documentation. So, per human nature, documentation becomes an unwelcome task to do, and usually it is tackled at the last minute with a mad rush to get it done.

The solution?

Help your organization to establish the connection between top priorities of the business and the tasks that hardworking employees carry out day after day.

A master at translating the complex into simple steps, Art Weeast developed a method for creating this connection. He calls it an Operational Map. To build your Operational Map you will:

  • Interview the Business Owner and document Primary Functions and Sub-functions from her perspective
  • Prepare List of Procedures for each Process Owner’s Area
  • Create a visual representation of Functions and their related Sub-functions
  • Map Procedures to related Sub-Function by playing “Operational Bingo” with Process Owners—you hold and call out the Procedures while she identifies the related Sub-function.
  • Validate the mapping with the Business Owner.

The result?

  • Executives come down to a level that they rarely visit—they better understand what it takes to get things done! They begin to appreciate the value—and the NECESSITY—of the documentation in a more highly regulated and complex world.
  • Process Owners (the everyday do-ers) appreciate the collaboration with executives. They sense the tone from the top and the priority becomes clear. The do-ers begin to understand the bigger picture—the risks that the organization faces and the importance of what they’re being asked to do. And they are very curious about what other departments do!

The final problem we aim to address: Breakdown in cross-functional processes.

Frustrations build in an organization when communication and collaboration breaks down or does not exist among certain parties. You can tell this is happening when you or others can easily blame someone for inadequate, inconsistent or untimely inputs into your process—or others who put disruptive demands on you to produce an output with a nearly impossible delivery date and provide inadequate information needed to meet the demand. It is natural for all of us to personalize the process under these circumstances.

The art of establishing collaboration among cross-functional parties can be reduced to four main steps. The following steps serve to “de-personalize” the process and issues, and allow parties to focus on the desired end result.

  1. Meeting: Bring functional representatives together for a collaborative process review mediated by a neutral party.
  2. Current state: Have them describe the standard process; first without the history, exceptions or problems. Then revisit the standard process with issues.
  3. Future state: What does it look like? How is it better?
  4. Transition state: Outline steps to get from where we are today to where we need to be.

Think about what’s happening here. Typically, if anyone ever does dare to address the communication breakdown among parties, what do they typically do? They work to identify the issue(s) and to problem solve against those issues. The process outlined by Mr. Weeast, an expert in operational and change management, takes an opposite approach; helping parties to very quickly begin working together effectively.

Applying these practices outlined by Art Weeast results in an efficient and effective organization that can:


Art Weeast has decades of impressive experience in enterprise-wide leadership, technology & data expertise, Lean Six Sigma methodologies, organizational change management, and in defining and refining operational processes. Art has been a client of policyIQ with three different organizations. When I met Art, I had been involved in the work of streamlining, refining, re-engineering, and automating processes for many years, myself, and—while it was my responsibility and mission to help him in any way that I could to solve his organization’s business problems using our software—I was forever changed by what he taught me!

This post was originally shared following a policyIQ-sponsored webinar in which Mr. Weeast shared his Process Intelligence practices. The policyIQ team continues to share the lessons of his Process Intelligence session year after year. If you’re interested in more information or hands-on support with applying Mr. Weeast’s methodology, reach out to us and we’ll connect you with the appropriate tools, information, and resources!

Support@policyIQ.com, 866.753.1231

Lesson’s Learned from a Policy Management Software Implementation

Last week, the policyIQ team hosted our quarterly “Introduction to policyIQ” class–this one focused on a full scale policy management solution.  While many aspects of the presentation are typical of any policyIQ Solution, there are a few that lend themselves to the policy management world.

  • Importing of documentation – saves a ton of time and manual entry of policies.  All policies can be created and set up in an Excel spreadsheet, and importing into policyIQ in just minutes.  In addition to populating many of the content fields (policy owner, reference number, summary statement, etc.), many aspects of workflow, folder indexing, and security can dictated, as well.
  • Setup of policy sign-offs – automated email reminders and follow-up. Once the policy sign-offs have been issued out to your organization, it is a huge benefit to have policyIQ automate regular email follow-ups to users with sign-offs that have not been submitted.  Gone are the days of hunting down employees via email or phone calls – policyIQ does this for you!
  • Response filtering – find the important information quickly.  Sort through hundreds or even thousands of policy sign-off responses in seconds by looking for the outliers, and taking critical action on those items: follow-up, meetings or clarifications.

These, among many others, offer a some great benefits to checking out policyIQ for your Policy Management needs.  However, every organization’s needs are different – which makes policyIQ an ideal solution.  It’s easily configurable!  Let’s meet via the phone or webcast to discuss if policyIQ can be configured to meet your needs.

A recording of this demonstration is available here. 

To learn more about the complete policyIQ Policy Management solution, visit our website.