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Sarbanes Oxley : Auditing : Continuous Auditing

Collaborative Reasoning Engine Drive Continuous Auditing

April 11, 2008 08:00 AM

Patrick Taylor
Oversight Systems

Oversight Systems has announced general availability of the 4.5 release of the companys continuous auditing software. Significant features of the new release include support for Windows Server 2003 and enhancements to the Oversight Workbench.

This release has significance in the continuous auditing market beyond the impact of functional enhancements to a single vendors software, said Oversight CEO Patrick Taylor. Oversights Workbench uniquely delivers on the vision of continuous auditing, providing the tools and technology that companies need to fix the problems identified by transaction analytics. Other products stop at the analytics stage, surfacing errors, but offering no practical way to remedy them.

Oversights Workbench supports the efficient evaluation and remediation of exceptions detected by the Collaborative Reasoning Engine (CoRE). The Workbench displays plain language descriptions of these potential problems, allowing users to drill down into the underlying transactional data to uncover and resolve every issue, from duplicate vendor information and invoices to likely fraud or misuse of funds. The Workbench also includes automated workflow features that facilitate assignment of exceptions to the appropriate resources for efficient investigation and resolution; a Risk Profiler for creating and refining re-usable ad hoc queries that focus investigation and facilitate sophisticated data review; and a permanent Investigative Log that automatically records all related activities, remediation and notes in a permanent journal.

With the 4.5 release, Workbench users can take advantage of a number of exception-handling enhancements, including:

  • The ability to attach work papers and other files to specific exceptions
  • The ability to select a reason code for each exception. The reason code is supported in profiles, access control, reports, etc.
  • The ability to see correlations between different exception types
  • Accurate search- and profile-time estimations based on self-tuning actual/estimated time comparison algorithms

Other enhancements in the 4.5 release include:

  • Support for Oversights server components to run on Microsoft Windows Server 2003
  • The incorporation of financial period filters derived from the original data source, to refine data extraction
  • Additional pre-defined General Ledger-related integrity checks, for enhanced fraud control
  • Inclusion of Excel and CSV formats in report output options, with auto-generated report designs based on Integrity Check definitions
  • A Knowledge Configuration Utility to turn on and off integrity checks and individual indicators, and adjust the weighting for each indicator
  • Use of LDAP-accessible enterprise directory for Single Sign-On (SSO) capability
  • Enhanced password encryption, based on the SHA-1 cryptographic hash algorithm
  • Security policy configuration options for protection against brute force password attacks

Oversight Systems takes continuous controls monitoring to the next level, with real-time transaction integrity inspection for identifying fraud, misuse and errors. Oversights software provides a platform for continuous monitoring with powerful analytics that excel at finding problems, then raises the bar with an investigators workbench for cost-effectively fixing the problem, and workflow-enabled audit trail and journaling for proving problem resolution and compliance. By inspecting each step of individual transactions across all financial systems, Oversight identifies all errors and fraud, drives defects out of the process, and sustains Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.

For more information, visit www.oversightsystems.com.

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