August 11, 2011 | Palo Alto, California: MetricStream Inc., the market leader in enterprise-wide Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) solutions, today announced version 6 of its next-generation Audit Management solution that will drive the next phase of innovation in audit management by enhancing usability, enabling risk-based intelligent auditing and providing increased flexibility to model complex audit needs.
In response to the global economic turmoil, forward thinking internal audit groups have taken on strategic roles focused on business performance and set a higher bar for accountability for the enterprise-wide compliance and risk control environment. The new version announced by MetricStream will help further strengthen sound practices such as risk-based auditing, collaborative auditing, effective audit planning and optimum utilization of auditors.
Built on the flexible and extensible GRC data model delivered by MetricStream GRC Platform 6, this release of the Audit Management solution leverages the extensive libraries of risks, controls, processes, policies, assets, standards, organizational entities, regulations and other GRC elements. It provides a highly configurable auditing system that can be utilized across the extended enterprise to streamline a variety of audits as well as assessments and inspections for internal auditing, financial auditing, internal controls, regulatory and corporate compliance, business operations, product quality, environmental health and safety (EHS), partners and suppliers and asset-level continuous control monitoring (CCM) of a company's IT security infrastructure. Bringing a wide range of audit programs on a common platform fosters collaboration between auditors and risk control units, legal advisors, operational teams, vendors and IT groups. As an evolving business disciple, internal auditors are taking an integrated approach to deliver more strategic value to the organization.
Version 6 of the product brings a three-layered enhancement of MetricStream's industry-leading Audit Management solution which incorporates built-in best practices and supports adoption of standards and guidance laid down by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) - representing MetricStream's deep association with the institute as a strategic thought-leadership partner.
Enhanced support for risk-based auditing: The new version ships with advanced tools and capabilities for risk assessments through modeling of risk metrics and operational data from various organizational and process entities, and thereby enabling systematic and risk-based audit planning. The solution will deliver intelligence for risk-based auditing through powerful capabilities such as audit advisor, audit proposal planning and risk scenarios analysis, effectively leveraging operational and risk metrics for defining the enterprise audit strategy. Additionally, the new version facilitates and controls the routing of audit and risk information ensuring collaboration among peers and primary audit stakeholders.
Comprehensive audit project management: The release facilitates a project management approach to drive active management of globally dispersed audit teams and ensure efficient utilization of audit staff based on their individual skill sets. Advanced resource pool management, auditor time sheets, budget tracking, auditor profile management, assignment tracking, audit milestones, distribution lists, shared calendars, parallel review cycles and advanced support for audit scoping are novel features designed to improve the overall efficiency and productivity of a corporate audit organization.
Improved auditor performance: The new version provides several innovative and user-friendly features to improve auditors' performance during the audit execution phase. This includes capabilities for conducting multiple simultaneous audit tasks, collaborative reviews, fieldwork approvals and task delegation which have been designed to improve productivity and collaboration among audit departments of all sizes - ranging from hundreds of auditors in large global corporations to smaller internal audit teams at medium-sized companies. The release will also introduce a new level of simplicity and ease-of-use to ensure quick adoption across the organization with minimal training needs for users.
Simplicity and Flexibility: The new version introduces nifty features that enhance user experience through new standards for improved navigation and easy access to contextual information. It also enables highly intuitive visualization of relationships between auditable organizations, audit processes, audit risks, controls and regulations. The new version includes an adaptive and flexible data model, which makes it easier for businesses to model and configure complex audit projects including scoping new audits, modeling organizations, designing new products or delivering new processes. Advanced audit pool management, audit assignment tracking, milestones, distribution lists and shared calendars will enable greater collaboration across the organization, and better prioritization of audit activities.
"The new version of MetricStream's Audit Management solution delivers innovations that bring significant value to our customers by improving audit strategies, accelerating audit cycles, reducing audit costs and improving auditor productivity," says Vasant Balasubramanian, Vice President of Product Management at MetricStream. "This release also provides auditors with rich operational and management reporting capabilities, allowing management teams to make decisions based on sound understanding of risks, controls and opportunities. These enhancements enable our customers to better integrate GRC efforts across their enterprise. The improved transparency, collaboration and risk-awareness result in better governance and business performance."
Leveraging the wide customer base of MetricStream GRC Platform and adoption of Audit Management solution in varied industries such as banking, financial services, energy and utilities, healthcare, life sciences, food services and retail, MetricStream partnered with its customers to jointly design these enhancements and validated their value through extensive reviews by end-users as well as independent analysts and industry experts.
The new release also delivers additional features for enhanced configurability to adapt to customer-specific audit workflows for supporting a variety of audits, assessments and inspections related to operations, finance, compliance, quality, safety, suppliers and IT. Capabilities for development of audit reports and recommendations, tracking of audit findings and implementation of remediation action plans and mobile and offline auditing using MetricStream Briefcase have been further strengthened.