Project Description

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Data-driven risk & control monitoring at Siemens Financial Services, Inc.

Interview with Jason A. Gross, CPA, CIA, CFE, CISA, ACDA, vice president, controls management, Siemens Financial Services, Inc.

Siemens Financial Services is a division, part of Siemens AG, the global conglomerate, focused on leasing and loans and other financial services for both Siemens' customers as well as third-party customers.

What consumes most of your team's time?

Most of our time is really focused around running the governance and control programs that we're responsible for.

How has implementing technology strengthened financial and operational controls?

There's a better level of assurance that we can get from improving our processes. Those processes sometimes are very manual in nature and we've found that we can make recommendations for automating. And through these recommendations we've recognized quite a big improvement in the reliability and consistency of the controls, but also the efficiency of the processes underlying them. Interestingly enough, ACL has been a key focus of those recommendations being able to help management in these areas.

How valuable is it to have data analytics capability as part of your process?

Without having all of the population in the universe together, looking at things manually really limits how much added value you could make as far as recommendations, as well as your degree of assurance from the observation of your testing plan.

How has ACL reduced risk and provided greater assurance across the organization?

More and more groups began to request these analytics for use within their business processes. It started to catch fire, where everyone else wanted those analytics. Because they realized it was a great tool for them to know what was happening within their departments, within their processes and to identify wherever there were outliers. And this ended up transcending beyond just control monitoring. It began to be almost a process improvement.

How do you think using ACL has changed the perception of your team by management?

The data assurance that we get from utilizing the tools within the continuous controls monitoring program has afforded management the ability to have confidence in the data that it's utilizing—whether it's financial reporting data or whether it's operational, or what I call risk analysis type data. ACL gives us the comfort to monitor what's happening in the business and what's happening within the portfolio. And we're talking about senior executives, people that are not auditors by trade. Usually you have auditors by trade talking about ACL.

So they've seen what the benefits ACL has—and the continuous monitoring program has—on the business. The level of assurance that it gives us, the ability to be confident, to help us remediate deficiencies when deficiencies do arise. Because we find that ACL and our continuous monitoring program is actually part of the solution of the remediation of many deficiencies. Utilizing a flexible tool like ACL and now integrating that into our continuous controls monitoring program made this a reality.

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Siemens Financial Services, Inc. is a unique provider of financial solutions to the business-to-business market. The company, based in Iselin, NJ, enables business expansion for thousands of customers in healthcare, energy and industrial sectors by providing customized solutions that range from equipment financing and working capital to project and export finance and insurance solutions. Learn more about Siemens Financial Services here.

Products in use:

ACL GRC

ACL Analytics

ACL Direct Link for SAP ERP & SAP ERM

ACL Analytics Exchange

"We've recognized quite a big improvement in the reliability and consistency of the controls, but also the efficiency of the processes underlying them."

Jason A. Gross, CPA, CIA, CFE, CISA, ACDA

Vice President, Controls Management, Siemens Financial Services, Inc.

Jason-Gross