SAN FRANCISCO (11/21/2003) - ACL Services Ltd. , a vendor of audit technology to financial executives, will announce on Monday Continuous Controls Monitoring, a suite of applications that checks and flags anomalies in transactional data at the point of execution.
The BAM (business activity monitoring) solution will extend standard audit practices into business processes in real time, according to Harald Will, ACL president and CEO.
Business unit managers or financial executives will be alerted of control breaches or of suspicious activity as it is captured by the system.
In its first iteration, the Continuous Controls Monitoring solutions will be available for purchase-to-payment cycle, travel and entertainment expenses, and procurement card programs.
One industry analyst said that in a post-Enron Corp. environment gaining insight into where a company may be exposed is both a blessing and a curse.
"You can catch things before it lands you in an orange jump suit on the cover of Time magazine, but you also have to have the processes to do something about it," said Joshua Greenbaum, principal at Enterprise Applications Consulting.
Furthermore, there are other IT and business issues companies will need to deal with as compliance regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley become part of the business landscape.
For example, if an anomaly is flagged and the transaction is stopped until a second approval, processes will get slowed down. However, if the intention is to flag transactions that are out of sync with company standards, the company may be inundated with information overload, Greenbaum said.
"A modern nuclear power plant, for example, generates hundreds of alerts per minute in a simulated failure. About 99 percent of those have to be ignored because no human can handle them all," Greenbaum pointed out.
On the IT side, Greenbaum said, if data has to be monitored at the point of transaction, at the order entry level, or at the Web screen level, and before it gets into the mainstream transaction flow, it will create a lot of work for IT.
"The good thing is you can avoid the cascade effect, stopping all illegal transactions can be an enormous cost savings," said Greenbaum.
ACL will also ship industry-specific applications for anti-money laundering and other compliance requirements for the financial sector.