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Real-Time Enterprise-Wide Audit-Ready Logs, Reports and Alerts

Angie Stockley, VP of Marketing and Communications, ASC Posted: October 1, 2015
Written by Angie Stockley

Auditable and automated proactive and preventive measures to manage compliance, risk mitigation and contract, document, form, quotes, etc., lifecycle processes

Ensuring your processes are strictly followed, that all your documents and data are in proper order and knowing what is required from a reporting perspective are all critical factors in managing any type of audit-related activity. ASC’s business-rule based and workflow driven solutions make it easy to automate and manage audit requirements from health and safety, to quality, environmental, compliance, governance, risk or any other type of audit data or process management need.

Benefits of Automated Audit Tools

  • Automated audit, risk and compliance management processes and related reporting
  • Centralized, secure access to all audit data
  • Automated escalation triggers and alerts for pending and overdue audit-related tasks
  • Real-time audit reports, checklists, summary and detailed information (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Non-conformance, corrective action and preventive action tracking and reporting
  • Anytime, anywhere, any device accessibility, including with complete mobile functionality
  • Ensured compliance with corporate, industry, government and regional regulations and standards

ASC Audit-Ready Solutions

The ASC business process management system provides comprehensive audit-ready logs of all user and system activity as well as a set of complementary tools such as configurable business-rules and workflows, workflow duration statistics, document compare capability, barcode security technology, etc., that help ensure any compliance and operational risks are effectively managed, mitigated, minimized and can be completely and transparently reported on in real time.

The ASC solution enables you to configure your audit-related (e.g., governance, compliance, risk, contracts, etc.) forms, checklists, data, business rules and workflows which then automate and control the necessary processes to ensure compliance requirements are strictly followed across the business. The solution helps you eliminate the chaos of paper-based audits and checklists, identify and action issues faster, collect richer data on demand, and access all the reports you need right at your fingertips.

With ASC, you have a cost-effective, feature rich, configurable solution to automate, assure and demonstrate effective governance, standards and regulatory compliance, audits and risk management across your business and processes. The solution maintains a complete history or evidence of all changes, actions and results with a rich mix of qualitative and quantitative data, with all information stored and accessible from the central database in multiple visual and extractable report formats giving you the detailed insights required to smartly drive your business forward.

Audit Logs to Track Compliance and Chain of Command

The ASC solution provides full electronic document control for any document type and the robust audit trail captures the complete history (evidence) of all contract negotiation and document edits, including amendments and writes this to a system audit log.

This log captures information such as who changed it/approved it (user), previous/current values, whose approval is pending, reason codes, descriptions, time and date of each change/approval, etc. These empowering data insights can be leveraged to create comprehensive compliance reports (including chain of command/authority hierarchy details) as well as analyzed for business intelligence and key performance indicator (KPI) metrics.

Complete Audit-Ready History of Changes
Complete Audit-Ready History of Changes

Send History

The Send history tracks each time an agreement is downloaded, emailed or faxed. In addition, each time a user submits an agreement for approval, the email notification is stored in the Send history and this history is updated when the email has been delivered and again when a Read Receipt is provided.

Revision History

Every time a user adjusts a data field or attaches a document, the form revision number is incremented. Each of these edits is captured in the automated audit trail. By clicking on a history button, users can see exactly what data was adjusted by each user. The audit trail includes date, time, field name, old value and new value. Older document versions, including redlines, are also available for review.

Business-Rule Driven Workflows and Processes

The centralized ASC Platform can be flexibly configured to exactly match your business rules, audit requirements and workflow needs for routing and approval and other governance, compliance and risk management criteria. You can define the types of contracts and documents (forms/templates), fields, sections, relationships (hierarchy and tabs with intuitive links from one record to the next), roles, external system linkages, approvals, notifications, etc., and the business rules and workflow that pertain to all.

Your solution can be configured to follow different business rules and continuous controls and provide inspection and performance management mechanisms, non-conformance tracking, corrective action monitoring, and real-time alerting and reporting by region, department, supplier, customer, commodities or other important criteria for an improved bottom line performance.

Workflow Duration Statistics

In addition, when an agreement or document is submitted for approval, rich, quantitative data such as the submission time and date are recorded. When a user subsequently approves an agreement change, the approval time and date are also recorded and the approval duration is calculated. These duration statistics can be used to analyze process bottlenecks and improve operational efficiencies.

Workflow Duration Statistics
Workflow Duration Statistics

Version Control and Document Compare

The ASC system’s version control capability provides the ability to easily compare drafts/versions of documents -- an invaluable opportunity for overall business insights or when compliance proof or audits are required.

The ASC solution uses Microsoft Word with its full inherent functionality as the format of choice for template creation as well as for document generation and for negotiation (e.g., redlining). This includes the fully integrated and automated Document Compare feature and Track Changes with locking (for redlined edits).

Document Compare Version Selections
Document Compare Version Selections

As a matter of best practice within the ASC system, Word documents are typically locked with Track Changes on so that customers or vendors can edit contracts and documents but cannot accept their changes into the document.

Generated Compare Document Showing Current Document Changes Compared to Previous Version
Generated Compare Document Showing Current Document Changes Compared to Previous Version

How Document Compare Works

ASC’s Document Compare capability is available whenever a redlined version of a document is attached to a form. When a redline is available, the user simply needs to click the “compare” icon:

  • The compare icon opens a new window that allows you to select which documents you would like to compare.
  • Any redlines that have been attached to that field can be compared. A number before the redline file name indicates the form revision number of the attached document.
  • You can also compare any redline to the default terms and conditions or to any Word document that has been “sent” from the system.
  • Once the versions to compare are selected, the user can select Email or Download to see the automatically generated compare result.

Barcode Security

The ASC solution’s unique barcode security augments these auditable capabilities by automating notification, filing and workflows and identifying erroneous documents through an exception handling queue; locking and tracking contract and document revisions to ensure document integrity and security; and enabling proof of tampering and ensuring document authenticity (non-repudiation).

Documents can be barcoded to track each unique instance, revision and document page and total number of pages. This feature enforces compliance when a user is submitting signed documents that may be from an earlier revision, doesn't contain all pages, etc.

For instance, by leveraging the ASC solution’s barcoding features, when older versions of documents (including images and amendments) are about to be used instead of newer versions, the workflow process can be automatically stopped and a notification displayed informing the user that they do not have the most current version of the document (version discrepancy) and asking them how they would like to proceed.

Barcoded Document
Barcoded Document

The barcode contains the version number, object number and a special (dynamically generated and unique) hash to ensure against tampering. An incorrect barcode automatically triggers a version notification.

The system can also generate barcoded cover and end pages to apply to third party or additional documents to automate this capture process and prevent human processing errors.

Why ASC?

ASC's flexible and robust audit-ready reporting and alerting capabilities are an integral part of all our web-based, zero footprint solutions.   Whatever your business process automation needs, you can trust ASC to deliver tailored online technical solutions that streamline your business operations for improved performance, advanced business intelligence and a better bottom line. Schedule a demo of ASC Contracts.

Take control of your business with software that provides worry-free audit, compliance and risk management capabilities throughout your contract and document management lifecycle.

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