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News

GRC Tools From SAS Provide Improved Transparency of Corporate Operations

SAS : 25 June, 2010  (New Product)
SAS explains how Governance, Risk and Compliance can be managed in the corporate environment using new tools available from the company which provide business improvements as well as regulatory compliance
Across all industries, stakeholders increasingly demand to know how revenue was generated, not just how much. A well-integrated governance, risk and compliance (GRC) program helps organizations adhere to laws and regulations, understand and manage risk exposures, and share information with investors, boards of directors, customers and other key audiences.

SAS Enterprise GRC, from the leader in business analytics, offers an integrated platform for comprehensive and continuous monitoring of risk and compliance exposures. Organizations can track risks based on trends in various operational systems. They can quickly identify and manage significant emerging exposures, and continuously update policies with regulatory changes to produce an audited, consolidated risk profile, especially for nonfinancial risks.

"Increased regulatory and investor activism compels financial institutions to demonstrate sound governance, operational risk and compliance practices. Companies need a comprehensive, joint-up approach to enterprise and operational Risk Management to reduce exposure. Forward-thinking firms now look to align upstream group risk assessment capabilities with downstream day-to-day operational activities in order to monitor and mitigate risks closer to the points where they arise," said Cubillas Ding, Research Director in Celent's Securities and Investments Practice.

Integrating business strategy with risk and compliance for greater performance, SAS Enterprise GRC facilitates better collaboration through a common framework and automates control management and monitoring for more transparency, consistency and efficiency.

An integrated GRC program powered by business analytics software can reduce uncertainty and achieve more predictable results. Benefits include cost savings through automation, improved audit and contingency planning, and better strategy formulation, such as capital planning, market expansion, value chain enhancement and triple bottom line initiatives.

"Over the last year, global customers have consistently asked SAS to move GRC beyond just complying with regulations and conducting periodic risk assessments," said Manoj Kulwal, SAS Enterprise GRC Product Manager. "Their desire to use GRC as a catalyst for business strategy definition and execution processes has driven the design and development of SAS Enterprise GRC."

To further demonstrate the company's commitment to the GRC space, SAS has recently joined the Open Compliance & Ethics Group's (OCEG) Technology Council. The OCEG Technology Council was formed to help address the strategic, operational and technical issues that professionals face when applying Information Technology (IT) to governance, risk, compliance (GRC) and ethics management. OCEG plays a critical role in developing structure and best practices for diverse areas of GRC. This collaboration with OCEG helps SAS to channel global customers' views into the OCEG process and contribute to expanding the application of technology to support and enhance GRC best practices.

"The GRC market opportunity continues to mature as strong technology providers such as SAS enter it," said Michael Rasmussen, J.D., President at Corporate Integrity, LLC, and OCEG Fellow. "It is encouraging to see SAS take a leading role not just in technology, but in support of the GRC community through its commitment to OCEG."

In addition to assisting with compliance strategy plans, SAS Enterprise GRC helps businesses achieve objectives related to financial performance, sustainability and social/environmental responsibility. Combining predictive analytics, data management and reporting, SAS Enterprise GRC provides rich, up-to-date data analysis from disparate sources. This integrated view, fostering a common interpretation of control performance, helps organizations measure effectiveness more easily, surface risk exposures faster, and improve mitigation strategies. Moreover, it helps firms align strategy with risk appetite, stakeholder expectations and external obligations.

"The challenge today is just to keep pace with change," said Clark Abrahams, SAS Chief Financial Architect. "Sustainable, superior performance requires a disciplined and conscientious approach based on integration of business strategies with an audited program of sound Risk Management and policy compliance within each operating unit. SAS Enterprise GRC helps companies adopt an adaptive, sustainable approach that affords them the power to meet goals and to control how results are achieved."

In addition to SAS Enterprise GRC, SAS offers best-in-class solutions for governance, risk and compliance needs.

Governance

By enabling organizations to embed analytics into budgets and plans, SAS' financial and performance management offerings support more accurate forecasting, comprehensive reports on demand, and alignment with long-term goals. The resulting transparency ensures that the numbers stakeholders and regulators see are accurate and auditable. For example, First Niagara uses SAS Activity-Based Management and SAS Profitability Management to calculate profitability by product, organization, customer and account. "Since we know the profit of every account, we can price for profitability. We also know the capacity utilization of all of our branches and operating centers, so we have the information we need to optimize efficiency. This allows us to focus on shareholder value, to grow not just for growth's sake, but to become more profitable overall," said Brent Bahnub, Senior Vice President and Director of Business Intelligence at First Niagara.

Risk

Organizations using SAS for Enterprise Risk Management can identify, measure, monitor, control and report on financial and nonfinancial risks. One example is Union Bank who is using SAS for operational and credit risk management. "We saw SAS software rated highly by analyst research firms and customers for operational risk, so it was clear that they were more capable than others and would fit better within our organization," said Greg Jones, Vice President of Operational Risk at Union Bank. "SAS offered a comprehensive solution that specifically addressed operational risk with customizable modeling capabilities."

Compliance

SAS regulatory compliance offerings help organizations consolidate complex compliance data from multiple systems and then quickly analyze it, build reports and deliver required information to regulators. In early 2008, Mutuelle Générale de l'Education Nationale (MGEN), France's largest mutual insurance company, began evaluating its operational risk program to strengthen internal monitoring and address new regulations from the European Union, such as Solvency II, and from the French government, such as rules from the Caisse Nationale d'Assurance Maladie des Travailleurs Salari (CNAMTS, the French national health insurance agency for salaried workers). "The goal of our SAS project was to go beyond simply gathering of and reporting on risk and compliance information," said Alexandre Kurtz, Head of Internal Control Group at MGEN. "With SAS adding powerful quantitative and qualitative analysis to our reporting, we are making our internal control and compliance system and our Risk Management efforts into strategic assets for MGEN and the customers we serve."

The new SAS Enterprise GRC solution was announced today at The Premier Business Leadership Series in Berlin, an international conference held three times a year. Presented by SAS, The Series brings together hundreds of public and private sector attendees to share ideas and knowledge on critical business management issues. The next conference will be August 10-11 in Hong Kong.
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