Improving SOX processes at Steel Partners

“We are doing more work with more companies, with the same resources, so clearly the software has helped us. And we’ve probably increased our output 30% in terms of the number of controls we tested from 2015 until now.”

Richard Hirsch,

Vice President, Internal Audit

“I think the biggest selling point for ACL is the fact that they’re constantly progressing. They’re constantly upgrading different functions and features within the tool.”

Bill Weimer,

Internal Auditor

Founded in 1990, Steel Partners Holdings L.P., is a diversified global holding company with operations in industrial products, energy, defense, banking, and youth sports.

Steel Partners combines various management functions to reduce corporate overheads, strengthen long-term corporate value, and achieve operational excellence.

Steel Partners employs 13,500 people across multiple facilities and operations in 20 countries.

Products in use:
ACL GRC
ACL Analytics

Certification & reporting
Streamline 302 testing, certification, and reviews

Testing & documentation
Collaborate on PBC requests and self-assessments

Improved workflow
Easily test controls, and quickly identify and remediate issues

Interview with Richard Hirsch, Vice President, Internal Audit and Bill Weimer, Internal Auditor, Steel Partners Holdings L.P.

Richard: We’re a diversified holding company with businesses in manufacturing, energy, youth sports, and banking, and we’re listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

What is your team’s role?

Bill: Our role is really to make sure that the companies that we work with are doing what they’re supposed to do, following policy and guidelines, to make sure they’re running effectively, and that management has oversight of those companies as well.

Describe your team’s reality before ACL.

Bill: It was very manual because we used file sharing. We used the intranet within the company. Excel files for test plans, and Word documents. And everything was done via email.

How did ACL stand out over the competition?

Richard: What I liked about the ACL solution was that it helped the workflow of doing the testing, reviewing the test results, communicating the issues, following up on the action plans to remediate the issues, which to me is where the most risk and the most value is.

Bill: I think the biggest selling point for ACL is the fact that they’re constantly progressing. They’re constantly upgrading different functions and features within the tool. In addition, we have some other colleagues that we’ve worked with outside of Steel Partners who also refer ACL as the go-to solution.

How is ACL helping your SOX testing?

Bill: At a high level, we are using ACL for our SOX and non-SOX audits that take place. We’re also using it for our 302 financial checklists. We’re using the results module for that, and we send it out as a questionnaire format that the respondents reply to.

How has it improved your PBC request process?

Bill: We send a link out from ACL for our PBC where we can have 100 files being uploaded at one time. So it makes their lives a lot easier. They just click on their email, click on the link into ACL, and drag and drop all the files into one place.

How has ACL changed the way you work?

Bill: We’ve been able to collaborate more effectively with the key individuals at the businesses. They’re more empowered to take a hold of the controls and understand what’s really happening at their businesses.

Richard: It’s been invaluable. The businesses like using it. And the results, it’s a few clicks to get something to the CFO, as opposed to going through reams of paper, chasing documents.

What results have you seen with ACL?

Richard: We are doing more work with more companies, with the same resources, so clearly the software has helped us. And we’ve probably increased our output 30% in terms of the number of controls we tested from 2015 until now.

What advice would you give somebody considering ACL?

Richard: You need to understand your own current pain points. You need to understand where you’re spending a lot of your time and then you need to evaluate the solutions on how can they address your near-term issues. And then what promise do they have for things that maybe you haven’t had time to do that they could help you jumpstart.