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Compliance Confidence Q&A: Andrew Disabato and Katie Reiss

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Compliance Confidence Q&A: Andrew Disabato and Katie Reiss
June 20, 2019

What makes compliance professionals confident in their work? We asked Andrew Disabato and Katie Reiss of Crane Co. in this installment of our blog series.

Success means something a little different for everyone—keeping companies safe, maximizing efficiency, achieving personal growth, and countless other goals.

For Andrew Disabato, an internal audit manager for Crane Co., it means confidence in a job well done.

"To me, success is really just making sure that our audits are being performed as effectively and efficiently as possible," said Andrew. "After that, I would say it's about making them more effective and more efficient than what we used to do."

And, compared to the way his internal audit department at Crane Co., a large industrial products manufacturer, used to function, they have made dramatic progress.

Rejecting the repository

In the words of Katie Reiss, Senior Portal Administrator for Crane Co., their previous solution for managing audit data was simply having a place to put files.

"We called it a document repository, and that's exactly what it was," she said. "Our old process was collecting whatever the information was, in the format it was in—Excel® or Word® documents, emails, PDFs, whatever—and then eventually just uploading the final products into the system."

Not only was the system incapable of automating their workflow, said Andrew, it slowed the value of internal audit more than it accelerated it.

"We didn't do any testing in there. We didn't request any information through it. It was really more of a step-by-step, 'once you get something done, you put it in there' kind of thing."

Once, Andrew accidentally sent the wrong version of a spreadsheet to a coworker, who incorporated it into their work, which was then uploaded into the repository. Untangling that Gordian knot was tedious—and enough to push the team to seek out other options.

"From a confidence standpoint, it's huge"

Today's technology is a far cry from anything clumsily labeled as a "document repository." With groundbreaking automation, machine learning, and blockchain tools on the rise, stuffing critical financial documents into a wheezing, half-forgotten server in the basement is clunky, disadvantageous, and wildly unfamiliar to modern audiences.

When Andrew and Katie were shopping around for internal audit management systems, they were taken aback at how dated many were.

"Looking at some of these systems," said Andrew, "I was saying, 'Where's the dot matrix printer we hook it up to?' You know, these other systems looked like something I would have been using in 1990."

That's one of the reasons Crane went with Workiva over other options, he said. "It really looks and feels like you would expect technology to look and feel in 2019."

With Workiva for Internal Audit Management, teams are able to enhance collaboration and connect the important documents and spreadsheets they use each day. For instance, cells from spreadsheets can be linked to documents or presentations, and when data inside those cells change, the changes flow throughout.

"The connected spreadsheets piece is a big win," said Katie. "Having the system pull in the information that you want, connect them to other sections, and make a chart out of it all—I think that's super helpful."

Andrew agrees and adds that Workiva helps keep the team confident in their work.

"From a confidence standpoint, it's huge," he said. "What got done is in the system. As long as you're working in the system, you know you're working with the most current version of the document or spreadsheet."

Workiva means no more guessing

The Crane team no longer suffers that sharp pang of dread that comes with document repository systems—not knowing if you are using the newest, most accurate file, and the ripple effect of unreliable reports and presentations that comes from inaccurate data.

"I always know that I'm working with the right version, or we have a record of whatever the most recent version is. So, I don't have to guess anymore," said Andrew.

And, when there's no guessing, the result is unparalleled confidence.

"Just having that one central system that you know that you can go to and having everything in one place—that's been really big for us. I'm confident that what I'm reviewing and what I'm looking at is exactly what it should be."

What else makes risk and compliance professionals confident in their work? Hear from David Gamble, former director of SOX compliance at a public power utility, in this blog post.

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