Tip of the Month: BarnOwl / Arbutus – Bringing GRC to Life with Integrated Data Analytics and Continuous Monitoring

November 22, 2021

Did you know ?

BarnOwl GRC is fully integrated with Arbutus data analytics giving you the ultimate in real-time risk management and continuous monitoring. Continuous monitoring enables management to determine more quickly and accurately where they should be focusing their attention and resources to improve processes and manage risks that threaten the objectives of the business and to take proactive and preventative action in time.

Arbutus is a powerful data analytics solution specifically developed for auditors, business analysts, and fraud investigators. Its robust performance and user-friendly features offer you the ability to access and analyse data quickly and simply. Arbutus Analyzer is arguably the most powerful Data Analytics software on the market, empowering an organisation to transform its data into valuable business insights.
BarnOwl’s integrated, top down approach, enables an organisation to focus its efforts in the right areas when designing and implementing key data analytic/s.

BarnOwl GRC, underpinned by real-time metrics from Arbutus provides a strategic early warning system driving preventative and predictive capability with real time insights facilitating effective business decision making and business improvement.

Six (6) simple steps to setup BarnOwl GRC with Arbutus data analytics

  • Step 1 – Identify BarnOwl Key Indicators
    Top down approach: A top down and objective based approach to risk management enables you to identify and prioritise the most important risks, controls and key indicators (KPIs, KRIs and KCIs).

  • Step 2 – Determine the Arbutus Analytic / Tests and map to BarnOwl KIs
    Focussed Analytic: The top down approach from step 1 determines the analytic test/s required to support the key indicators identified.
    BarnOwl / Arbutus integration: The BarnOwl key indicator and Arbutus analytic (test) are mapped to the Arbutus test ID and the organisation’s business unit IDs.

  • Step 3 – Arbutus Analytic runs on a continuous basis and / or periodic basis
    Access All Data: The Arbutus analytic (test) tests millions of records on a continuous or periodic (e.g. daily, monthly) basis identifying exceptions in all the data. Arbutus accesses all data from big, small, complex, disparate systems across all areas such as financial, operational, IT and across all platforms such as on premise, cloud, PC, mainframe.
    Verify & Prepare: Ensuring your data is accurate and complete.
    Analyse: Engineered for analysis to ask any question of all your data.
    Communicate & Remediate: Systematically manage your results.
    Integrate results: Seamless interface between Arbutus and BarnOwl.

  • Step 4 – Continuous update of BarnOwl Key Indicators with Arbutus test results
    Real time key indicators: BarnOwl continuously reads the Arbutus analytic test results and automatically updates 1000s of key indicators across all business units (e.g. stores) and processes.
    Summarised test results: BarnOwl KIs are automatically updated with Arbutus test exceptions including the KI input value (measured against pre-defined KI thresholds), total record count, exception record count, total value, exception value with a link to the exceptions for detailed analysis.

  • Step 5 – Continuous monitoring and dynamic reassessment of objectives, risks and controls
    Continuous monitoring: BarnOwl continuously monitors key indicator thresholds and breaches.
    Dynamic reassessment of objectives, risks and controls:Alert risk and control owners to key indicator breaches on a continuous basis. View the detailed exceptions directly in BarnOwl.
    Early warning system: Escalate key indicator breaches upwards throughout the organisation.
    Real time risk management: Proactive management of risk, mitigating downstream knock-on effects.

  • Step 6 – Informed business decision making
    Risk intelligence you can trust: An integrated up to date view of your risk universe enables agile and informed business decision making.
    Insight: Up to date risk intelligence, provides in depth insight into the interconnectedness of risk and its effect on the achievement of strategic and business objectives.
    Foresight: Real time and predicative analysis of existing and emerging risks enables adaptive thinking and taking action.

Benefits of integrated GRC and Data Analytics

Top-down Analytic Design
GRC professionals are guided by organisational risks to identify the analytics that need to be performed. The question, ‘What should we be testing?’, is answered automatically.

Minimize Risk
Address process and control weaknesses. Continuous improvement of financial and operating controls. Replace manual preventative controls with automated detective controls. Stamp out fraud, waste and abuse.

Improve Transparency
Provide better visibility and reporting for all your risk management activities in real time. Detect exceptions in real time to enable real-time responses.

Effectively Manage Resources
Avoid potential gaps in your process and ensure timely follow up. Establish a more automated, risk-based control environment with lower people costs. Increased audit coverage with reduced audit time and cost.

Expand Your Insight and Foresight
Accelerate reporting to support more rapid decision-making and business improvement. Increase competitive advantage and value for stakeholders.

BarnOwl GRC integrated with Arbutus Analytics
BarnOwl integrated with Arbutus provides the ultimate real-time, strategic early warning system.

Useful links

Wikipedia’s definition of Continuous Monitoring: Continuous monitoring is the process and technology used to detect compliance and risk issues associated with an organization’s financial and operational environment.[1] The financial and operational environment consists of people, processes, and systems working together to support efficient and effective operations. Controls are put in place to address risks within these components. Through continuous monitoring of the operations and controls, weak or poorly designed or implemented controls can be corrected or replaced – thus enhancing the organization’s operational risk profile. Investors, governments, the public and other stakeholders continue to increase their demands for more effective corporate governance and business transparency.

About BarnOwl:

BarnOwl is a fully integrated governance, risk management, compliance and audit software solution used by close to 200 organisations in Africa, Australasia and the UK. BarnOwl is a locally developed software solution and is the preferred risk management solution for the South African public sector supporting the National Treasury risk framework.
Please see www.barnowl.co.za for more information.

About Beta software:

Beta Software has been a trusted auditing partner for over 20 years before it was established in 2014.As a proud subsidiary business of RSM South Africa, we can ensure not to only deliver the best auditing tool that your business needs, but also support your teams in achieving the outcome success to take your business forward. Our philosophy is to find the best-fit technology to provide turnkey auditing solutions for your business. We sustain and develop our advanced knowledge in ERP data access; continuous auditing and continuous monitoring.
BETA Software is appointed as the authorised distributor of Arbutus in Sub-Saharan Africa and is the biggest Arbutus user in South Africa.
Please see www.betasoftware.co.za for more information.