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Time Management Training Client
Case Study / Time Management Training Client

Time Management Training Client

Time Management Training Customer Achieves Aggressive Goals for Quality in Audit and Separation of Duties (SoD)

The Challenge

This Customer is committed to helping organizations achieve transformative, lasting results. This not only requires a staff of experts in leadership, execution, productivity, trust, sales performance, customer loyalty, and more; as a publicly traded company with more than 100 direct and partner offices in more than 160 countries and territories, they must have the same level of expertise and commitment to excellence in their own internal operations. 

Like many very successful companies, this Customer had been operating on older technology ERP for many years which was stable and had been doing the job adequately, thanks to the 90s mentality of, “If you need it to do something else, customize it.” But, as everyone who has worked with customized software knows, there comes a time when heavy customizations outlive their usefulness. 

The Customer selected and was in the midst of implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations (D365FO), a cloud-based ERP system, which would put the company on the path to transformation, handling complex processes and those processes brought over by previous mergers. And true to the company’s culture of going beyond “good enough,” employees had very high expectations about ensuring a quality customer experience. 

This event spurred the search for an audit trail tool, as the company’s current solution did not have an offering for D365FO. Their IT Audit Manager and 30-year company veteran was delighted the company was moving to D365FO and eliminating the audit complexities of the old systems’ customizations. 

“If I can reduce the risk of my two highest-risk areas—user reviews and change management— the cost of my audit, both for my internal and external drops so much that Fastpath pays for itself in one audit cycle.”

IT Audit Manager,

The solution

This was also an opportunity to really do things right. The IT Audit Manager, who clearly possesses the Customer’s mentality of striving for “better than good,” set aggressive goals: She wanted not only to bring the company’s audit technology up to speed along with the ERP system, but she wanted to ensure future audits came as close to a “non-event” as possible. 

Specifically, she wanted to have a new tool in place by the end of the fiscal year. More importantly, she wanted to be able to say there were no high- or medium-risk issues found in the audit, and with only a few low-risk issues. These were aggressive goals, but being a publicly traded company, there was a great deal at stake—so those goals were important. Whichever tool she selected had to meet Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) requirements – and FAST. 

Strong recommendations from the company’s IT general control auditors who reported their other clients were very happy with Fastpath—along with agreement from the company’s external auditors— prompted her to consider Fastpath as an option.  

The Customer’s needs were audit focused. The company’s IT department is efficient, so it runs lean, having between one and two systems admins at any given time. The IT Audit Manager needed the ability to track the audit trail very closely as a mitigating control.  

“I needed to make sure we had SoD just blasted through, no questions asked,” said the IT Audit Manager. “That’s one thing that almost made me cry in the first Fastpath demo…when they started going over SoD, what those reports showed, and how I could document it one time and it’s already saved in the tool. I loved that Fastpath was in a hosted environment, and I could sign those reports and prove to my external auditors that I had reviewed them and commented on them.”  

After seeing Fastpath in action and looking at other options, she was convinced that it was indeed the way to go. A flawless go-live…thanks to collaboration between an audit/implementation veteran and technology experts with a commitment to service.  

She is not new to the world of software implementations, and, as such, she knew what she needed to do with Fastpath in order to be ready for ERP go-live when the time came. As the implementation of the Customer’s D365FO ERP solution was under way, she was able to install Fastpath and begin setting it up to fit the company’s requirements, including setup of SoD for all users so everyone had the appropriate roles and access from the start. The goal was to have the UAT environment ready when the ERP went live on day one, with every single user equipped to do their job with no technical issues or interruptions. 

The results

When the Customer went live with Fastpath, D365FO, and other connecting systems, it could not have gone better. “We went live with a new system that touched others which had been upgraded as well, and we had only three— that’s THREE—low-risk items on our Sarbanes Oxley IT general control audit, and those were all ‘human’ issues, not system issues,” said the IT Audit Manager. “We worked hard to flush out any potential issue before the audit came around, which was a big factor in the success of the audit. But another huge factor was that the auditors trusted Fastpath from the get-go. They trusted the way it was set up and the fact that Fastpath is set up for SOX. 

“The reports were set, so there was no need to customize, and to an auditor, that is very positive,” she continued. “And every time I printed off a report, it showed exactly what was being filtered. I could go back and pull everything from the beginning of time, not just a certain section at a time. The auditors could rely on everything, which greatly reduced any potential issues.”  

What about return on investment? The IT Audit Manager says it has been nearly instantaneous because, among other things, she has been able to significantly reduce the hours of her audit because auditors trust the information that comes out of Fastpath.  

“If I can reduce the risk of my two highest-risk areas—user reviews and change management—the cost of my audit, both for my internal and external drops so much that Fastpath pays for itself in one audit cycle,” she said.  

The Customer says that she has been so happy with Fastpath that her company has installed it in their UK office and has upgraded from the on-prem version of Fastpath to the hosted environment in the Japan office. She is also very happy that Fastpath worked with her and her company to structure and re-structure contracts to accommodate growth in other offices. That has paved the way to continued growth and use of the new ERP system and Fastpath in their offices around the world.  

As thrilled as she is with Fastpath products, she is beyond thrilled with the level of service she has received from the Fastpath team. “We haven’t had any issues with Fastpath software, which is great,” she said. “But what really amazes me is the Fastpath team has been right there whenever we have a question, even though they had nothing to do with it. They respond quickly, keep in touch as they are working on an issue, and take our feedback and challenges and see how they can roll them into the next version of the software. If there’s something we need, they find a solution, both short-term and long-term, and they don’t charge us for every tiny little thing. The customer service within Fastpath and customer support has been just absolutely amazing.”  

“I’m asked to sit and talk to potential clients of Fastpath, and I’m always happy to do it,” she shared. “I’ve worked with lots of other customers and companies, and Fastpath’s customer support is amazing.” She continues, “But I also love that Fastpath comes standard with what I need, so I don’t have to build or customize. You don’t have to create your own reports, and that is beautiful because, from an audit perspective, if I can say it’s a canned report, that the auditors can rely on the SOC 2, they won’t spend hours picking it apart. Those are the things that make an audit so clean, because there’s not anything for the auditors to question.” “I will sing praises of Fastpath ‘til the end of time.”