Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Press Release: ERP Risk Advisors announces new Audit Support as a Service services for Oracle's E-Business Suite and ERP Cloud applications

Press Release: ERP Risk Advisors announces new Audit Support as a Service offerings for Oracle's E-Business Suite and ERP Cloud applications

ERP Risk Advisors is pleased to announce two new Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings for Oracle's ERP applications - E-Business Suite and ERP Cloud.

This "Audit Support as a Service" offering will provide internal and external auditors with much better and more comprehensive data needed to audit these two applications.

ERP Risk Advisors, CEO, Jeffrey T. Hare, CPA CIA CISA states the problem:

"We are often brought in by organizations that have audit findings to help clients remediate their control deficiencies.  As we help clients with their remediation, we often find many other significant control design issues that should have been identified by the internal and external auditors.  Two things drive our findings.  First, there is a lack of maturity in understanding by internal and external auditors of these specific systems and risks specific to each system.  Second, auditors don't have the right data to help analyze these risks and related controls"

ERP Risk Advisors has been focused on helping clients design and test controls for over 15 years.  The new Audit Support as a Service offerings will provide the following data for Oracle's E-Business Suite and ERP Cloud applications:
  • Test access controls and role design by evaluating sensitive access risks and segregation of duties conflicts
  • Evaluate control design by:
    • reviewing the actual configurations verses expected configurations
    • considering ‘best practice’ configuration design as provided by ERP Risk Advisors
  • Test change control processes by having a population of IT and functional configurations throughout the most commonly used ‘in scope’ modules and the core applications
ERP Risk Advisors CEO, Jeff Hare, continues:

"There are significant gaps in the understanding of systems auditors are responsible for reviewing.  Each ERP system has its own characteristics that must be taken into account as part of the audit.  No longer can auditors audit 'around' the system.  Auditors need a better understanding of the system and need better data to perform an audit that is complete and accurate.  I would encourage you to take a look at this recent article I wrote on this topic called "Why the PCAOB and External Auditors Should be Concerned about Substantive Only Audits " which can be found here.  This explains this need in more detail.  We look forward to helping internal and external auditors improve their effectiveness and efficiencies in auditing Oracle's E-Business Suite and ERP Cloud applications through the use of this service"

More about this service and other services offered by ERP Risk Advisors can be found here.

Why the PCAOB and External Auditors Should be Concerned about Substantive-Only Audits


Why the PCAOB and External Auditors Should be Concerned about Substantive-Only Audits




This article is long overdue, but still one I have been dreading to release.  I know the audit firms could come under significant additional scrutiny from regulators such as the PCAOB.  However, there are significant risks organizations are facing because of poorly designed controls and inadequate audit procedures.  It is 2018, more than 15 years after the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley act and it is time to shine the light on areas that board members and investors would be appalled by if they understood this topic.  With this said, here is my article...

In evaluating how to approach an audit, in general, and specific business processes within any audit, in particular, external auditors sometimes choose to audit ‘around the system’.  That is, they ignore the way systems are designed and test the given process or control without regards to how the system is designed.  They do so by identifying a population of transactions related to the process and testing the activity through sampling as required by their internal standards and consistent with the regulator(s) that oversee their audits (PCAOB, OCC, various government agencies, etc).

There are consistent gaps in the approach that external audit firms take that could leave the chosen populations incomplete.  Therefore, I will make the argument that a substantive-only audit is a flawed approach and one that external audit partners and regulators should be concerned about.

To illustrate this flaw, I will use arguably the most important control related to the integrity of the financial statements – the control over manual (non-standard) journal entries.  Manual journal entries inherently pose a high risk to the integrity of the financial statements because they can move any balance between any account within the trial balance.  In my experience, most external auditors don’t know how to properly identify a population of journal entries that equate to a manual journal entry.

I identify the following types of journal entries that could exist within an ERP system:

1.       Manually created in the system within the general ledger itself

2.       Uploaded from a spreadsheet – manual or non-standard type

3.       Uploaded from a spreadsheet – created by another system (i.e. manual interface)

4.       Uploaded from a spreadsheet – looking as if it came from a subledger


5.       Interfaced from another system (i.e. automated interface)

6.       Transferred from a subledger

7.       Manually created in a subledger and transferred as if it were a subledger entry


… continued in full article - see below for link ...


Conclusions

Because of the way JE controls are typically designed (i.e. to ignore subledger JE’s) organizations using Oracle’s E-Business Suite or ERP Cloud applications would need to configure each system differently in order to prohibit a user from creating a journal entry from a Source that is not subject to the manual / non-standard JE controls.  In other words, even in the case where an audit is not placing reliance on any application controls (i.e. a fully substantive audit), the improper configuration of a system COULD cause the functional auditors to leave out a portion of the JE’s that should be in their control population.  

… continued in full article - see below for link …



Access the full article here