R2R Series Blog #12: Improving Compliance & Controls with SAP GRC & SAP Account Substantiation and Automation by BlackLine
Authors: Molly Boyle, Director – SAP Solutions, BlackLine & Elizabeth Milne, Accounting & Financial Close Expert, SAP
This is Blog #12 in our Record to Report Blog Series. You can find the complete series outlined HERE.
As companies deploy digital solutions across their enterprises, business leaders are increasingly focused on risk management and cybersecurity. To support business objectives while also managing risk, Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs), Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), and other executives need a unified strategy to succeed.
With evolving tech stacks, new business models, constantly changing regulatory requirements, and growing data volumes, compliance and controls remain an area of focus for many companies. To maintain an effective risk and compliance environment, business leaders must find solutions for efficient process management and testing that are embedded in systems and processes.
SAP Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) and SAP Account Substantiation and Automation by BlackLine are solutions that embed into the foundation of your business operations. They enable automation, provide real-time visibility, and allow business leaders to focus on what matters most.
There may be some questions regarding each solution—like what are the benefits? How are the two solutions different and how do they work together? This blog highlights the value of SAP GRC and SAP Account Substantiation and Automation by BlackLine and explains how the two solutions work together to improve compliance and controls.
SAP GRC provides a comprehensive, integrated portfolio of solutions that help CCOs secure applications and day-to-day interactions — inside and outside their organization — while mitigating risk and providing visibility into existing and future threats. SAP GRC provides a structured and standardized process for all types of controls and can be relevant for multiple compliance initiatives including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and operational controls.
SAP GRC solutions span the entire enterprise to drive comprehensive, real-time visibility across numerous categories, including:
- Enterprise risk and compliance
- Identity and access governance
- Cybersecurity and data protection and privacy
- International trade management
These enterprise solutions provide business leaders with holistic insights to drive risk mitigation strategies, real-time visibility to monitor risks, and transparency to respond to business opportunities and threats on one end-to-end platform.
SAP Account Substantiation and Automation by BlackLine
In addition to the CCO, the CFO plays a key role in managing risk and compliance. Many of the activities carried out by finance and accounting teams are central to organizations’ internal controls over financial reporting. As such, the Office of the CFO plays a critical role in ensuring compliance and control.
Many of these controls are traditionally performed, evidenced, and tested manually outside of SAP, often in spreadsheets.
For example, balance sheet substantiation and manual journal entries are two common accounting processes that represent key controls. When these and other similar accounting activities are performed and reviewed manually, companies introduce unnecessary risk of error.
Likewise, the monitoring and testing of the control performance, including the nature, timing, and extent of controls, and substantive audit testing is also unfavorably impacted. Companies may experience challenges like disorganized control testing, extended audit cycles, lack of visibility into issues, and repetitive or un-remediated findings.
SAP Account Substantiation and Automation by BlackLine transforms manual accounting and financial close activities in a centralized cloud solution. It uses standardized templates, intelligent workflows, and built-in segregation of duties to automate much of the manual work, like balance sheet substantiation, journal entry, and other control activities.
Included in the solution is purpose-built compliance functionality that directly links key controls to the underlying activities, supporting documentation, and audit trails that are performed in solution.
SAP Account Substantiation and Automation by BlackLine also has internal and external auditor-specific roles that enable a self-service approach for auditors. When accountants complete items, auditors can view evidence like supporting documentation, review comments, and signoffs.
Working Together: SAP GRC & SAP Account Substantiation and Automation by BlackLine
SAP GRC provides a holistic solution for addressing enterprise risk. SAP Account Substantiation and Automation by BlackLine complements SAP GRC solutions with accounting and financial close automation, including functionality for improving controls and compliance. Customers, including those using or planning to use SAP GRC, can achieve incremental value by adding SAP Account Substantiation and Automation by BlackLine to the SAP GRC solutions.
Together, SAP GRC and SAP Account Substantiation and Automation by BlackLine enable efficient, transparent, and centralized management of risk and compliance requirements for the CCO, CFO, and other key stakeholders.
Calls to action:
For more detail on how SAP Process Control and SAP Account Substantiation and Automation by BlackLine enable stronger controls and compliance for finance check out our previous blog: https://blogs.sap.com/2021/01/25/how-sap-solutions-enable-stronger-controls-and-compliance-for-finance/
To learn more about SAP Solution Extensions by BlackLine check out the SAP Track at BlackLine’s virtual event BeyondTheBlack.
To learn more about SAP GRC Solutions check out:
Check out the rest of our series: