4 (Great) Reasons for Document Automation in GRC

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Given advances in technology and the possible savings of cloud infrastructures, it should be no surprise to you that the governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) industry is quickly moving away from costly manual processes to more automated systems, platforms, and solutions.

Despite these advantages, GRC professionals still heavily lean on physical documents and PDFs as a final stakeholder output. Meaning GRC documentation is a realm unto itself. Creating GRC documents is complex and time-consuming and can require tremendous amounts of copying and pasting between systems and source files. 

Throughout this manual process, there are several instances of when you should automate your overall approach and its final documentation—freeing you up to focus on other responsibilities. Our goal in this article is to walk you through these situations and highlight the benefits of document automation.

Any good GRC professional knows the first step is to assess, so let’s start off looking at the times when automating will help your company:

1. Wide usage of standardized templates

In the GRC sector, the same report may be recreated on a standard cadence, taking data from one or more systems and combining it into a standard template. When done manually, this seemingly easy operation is prime for possible errors that can result in loss of time and, in some cases, legal and financial losses.

Some error examples are:

  • Using an unapproved or out-of-date template
  • Users multitask and pull from various files and systems, so chances of mistakenly copying and pasting are always present due to this repetitive nature
  • Reports can be misdelivered due to similar user error reasons mentioned above

 The good news is that automating your reports is not as hard as you may think. All document automation starts with creating a template, so having those in place means you are more than halfway there!

2. Specific company branding must be followed

Branding requirements are fundamental to GRC documentation. Compliance documents often have an exact layout you need to follow, so branding is not of little importance. Companies have spent a lot of time creating style and branding guides (for fonts, logos, etc.) to ensure their reporting communications have a professional and consistent image or document layout.

Tip for Risk Cloud users: When working in Risk Cloud, Risk Cloud Documents easily builds in any branding elements directly into your template, eliminating the need to scroll through documents to make the necessary edits manually.

3. Reports created regularly should not take long

When you automate repetitive tasks for frequent reports, you not only prevent mistakes like the ones mentioned above, you and your staff also save time. That time translates into opportunities to focus on projects and initiatives aligned to your business goals instead of mindless copy, paste, and compile exercises.

When working on GRC based projects, you need to execute based on your knowledge that protects and benefits your company—while also doing so efficiently. So why would you want to be tied down to repetitive and manual tasks like building reports from scratch when you could be spending more time doing actual and beneficial GRC work? Let the reports work for you and not the reverse!

4. Reports containing sensitive information must be kept up to date

We discussed the possible reliance on copy and paste functions and how it can be an opportunity for human error. This factor is compounded when strict guidelines call for reports that must always be kept up to date. Providing centralized templates that automatically generate documents will ensure that a fresh and updated copy gets delivered error-free every time.

We have covered four great reasons why you should automate GRC documents and how they will improve processes and make your GRC team more productive. But we realize there are situations where you might not want to automate your documentation or choose a hybrid approach that allows the flexibility to go manual when needed. Depending on your needs, having the flexibility to automate when appropriate or manually update is available to you in Risk Cloud. 

To learn more about how Risk Cloud solves these problems and helps you find efficiencies in your risk program, request a demo and ask about Risk Cloud Documents.

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