The ACL platform is used by almost every Fortune 500 company.
With only a few weeks left before the Finance Indaba, the anticipation from partners is palpable. In this article, we speak to Philip Tillman, the Managing Director of SurTech Solutions who are the sole distributors of ACL software in South Africa. He tells us more about the ground-breaking ACL platform and why he is looking forward to the event.
What is ACL Software, and how long has the company been around?
ACL is over 30 years old and is the world's leading application for business process assurance. Over the years, our technology solutions have transformed audit and risk management through a combination of software and expert content that enables the continuous monitoring of internal controls, identifying and mitigating risks, protecting profits, and accelerating performance.
ACL helps over 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies to save money and time by interrogating their ERP systems and flagging control deficiencies, providing the opportunity for remediation. It's a platform that helps CFOs sleep at night because it checks 100% of the transactional data for almost everything that could possibly go wrong.
Some of the accomplishments that have been achieved through the ACL platform are; identifying illicit financial transactions that were intended to fund criminal activity, exposing health care providers that defrauded taxpayers with unnecessary procedures and prescriptions, and recover billions in fund leakage, whether it be through time-saving performance improvements or prevention of illicit activities.
It seems like a unique product. Do you have competitors and how do you differentiate yourselves from them.
We actually don't, I wish we had more! There are no natural competitors due to our unique understanding of data analytics and the ERP system data that makes up the financial and business processes; the Big4’s answer to our automatization is typically recurring man hour solutions.
There are many different ERP systems, but they all essentially do the same thing, just on a varying scale. IFRS and GAAP have standardised transactional accounting practises, so it’s logical that the ERP systems inputs are reasonably generic. It doesn't matter whether a company is utilising SAGE, ORACLE or SAP, the objective is to ensure both efficiency and accuracy in the business processes.
What makes ACL unique is that we have mapped all the data coming from the various ERP systems and combined that with our financial and data analytic expertise to assist organisations in detecting control breaches, protect revenue and eliminate fraud. To give you an example, a simple control breach that could occur in an ERP system may be an amount of money that was paid to a vendor when they submitted a pro-forma invoice and then paid again when the vendors tax invoice arrived, resulting in a duplicate payment to that vendor. ACL would have been able to flag that up for you for further investigation.
Why have you signed up as a partner for the Finance Indaba and what can attendees look forward to seeing from you at the event?
CFOs are increasingly recognising the inaccuracies and control weaknesses within their ERP and core financial system; existing application validation are not catching the problems. A need exists for greater automated checks and balances to ensure that these platforms deliver the intended efficiency improvements while protecting that hard-earned revenue. We are finding that CFOs are now becoming our primary clients, whereas before, control breaches fell within the domain of internal auditors. All stakeholders across the organisation have recognised the importance of accurate data and the requirement to pinpoint transactions that shouldn’t be there, enabling investigation and remediation. This ultimately leads to more efficient financial reporting, better financial and business decisions, while improving business performance and reducing the potential for human error and fraud.