Audits are a way of life for tech and financial services companies around the globe. But they are a stressful, time consuming, and expensive process for many companies to maneuver.
Jeff Bye of Demand Manager in Australia, knows this only too well. His company helps fellow Aussie companies access financing for clean energy upgrades like solar power. But as part of their industry dictates, they are audited on a very frequent basis. “These audits normally cost around $30,000. The auditors need to come to our office and go through paperwork manually and spend a lot of time on site,” said Bye, who goes through 10-12 audits per year.
Although Demand Manager has to deal with audits continuously, it was not an area of their business they had thought about trying to improve. What Bye was interested in improving was the way in which his company handled project management. They implemented HighGear enterprise task management platform to address a more consolidated and efficient way to handle a larger volume of projects.
The implementation was successful for Demand Manager and they have increased their ability to handle more tasks and projects from virtually anywhere on the globe. What Bye was pleasantly surprised to find out after the implementation of HighGear is what a huge impact it would have on their compliance process for audits. HighGear gives auditors the ability to have direct access to Demand Manager’s system with custom logins that restricted users to just the information that is relevant to the audit. Auditors can now login from their own office and complete 99% of the work without ever visiting Demand Manager’s office. “It has saved a great deal of time for the auditors coming on site. It’s saved us about $15,000 per audit. That is directly attributed to the HighGear system,” Bye said.
But Bye isn’t the only one singing the praises of HighGear when it comes to getting through an audit with flying colors. Dan Brown, Technical Services Manager at Swift Systems, recently went through an SSAE16 audit of the Swift data centers. He didn’t really know what to expect, since this was the first audit he’d been a part of. Their audit team also was pleasantly surprised by the level of compliance that HighGear offered as a core feature. Their team expected to be on site for a week, but was able to get the information they needed in just 3 days. “HighGear helped our data center pass the SSAE 16 audit with flying colors. The fact that HighGear was the system of record was fundamental in allowing the auditor to see change control requests for the past 12 months. I was able to pull that information up easily in a search, export it into a PDF quickly, and pass it off to the auditors. I can’t even imagine how companies that don’t have HighGear get through this process.”
Katie Smolsky of I.S. Partners, LLC of Horsham, PA, who worked on the examination team was very impressed with what she saw. “We felt that the attestation process was aided and simplified by the user-friendly nature of the HighGear application,” reported Smolsky.