CheckFree, now part of Fiserv (NASDAQ: FISV), a leading provider of information technology services to the financial industry, today launched CheckFree Account Certification, an automated financial reporting control framework that assists organizations with implementation of a sound financial governance strategy and helps ensure compliance across multiple regulatory mandates.
Using configurable business rules that enforce financial period close policies and audit requirements, CheckFree Account Certification helps enable organizations to automate the scheduling, preparation, review, approval, analysis and auditing of reconciliation information - information that is critical to the integrity of financial close and period-end reporting.
"Organizations increasingly have a lot at stake when it comes to regulatory compliance," said Mark Cappell, senior vice president and general manager, Operational Risk Management, CheckFree, now part of Fiserv. "The cost of non-disclosure is high, and can lead to reduced shareholder value, loss of reputation, high audit fees and potential fines. In a recent review of material weaknesses disclosed under Sarbanes-Oxley requirements, 20 percent of weaknesses were related to failures in account reconciliations, review procedures or compliance with control policies. CheckFree's holistic approach to control and compliance enables organizations to standardize business processes and embed risk management into their daily controls."
Designed to seamlessly integrate with existing CheckFree Reconciliation and Exception Management solutions or function as a stand-alone solution, CheckFree Account Certification helps enable organizations to:
- Assign ownership of reconciliation and certification activities
- Enforce reconciliation and financial reporting frequency policies
- Tightly control reporting review and escalation procedures
- Maintain proper segregation of duties
- Mitigate operational risk by focusing staff on higher risk accounts
- Promote and facilitate a 'prove it' approach to ensure confidence and streamline audits
- Reduce the cost of compliance and audit functions
"With the level of manual processes and spreadsheet utilization in practice today, many businesses are experiencing non-adherence to standard procedures, which can lead to internal fraud, irregular application of accounting principles, untimely reconciliation of financial data and unreliable financial reporting among other impacts," said Andy Mellor, product manager, Operational Risk Management, CheckFree, now part of Fiserv. "It is increasingly clear that enterprise control and compliance applications, such as CheckFree Account Certification, play a key role in demonstrating effective governance of critical financial activities, and improving the timeliness and quality of financial processes and reporting - all of which underpin cross-compliance with multiple regulatory mandates and initiatives."
CheckFree, now part of Fiserv, has also released a white paper entitled 'Cross-Regulation Compliance: Embracing the Paradigm Shift from Necessary Evil to Pervasively Achievable'. This informative insight is available now to download.