Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

CPQ and Faster, Smoother, Easier Audits

Andy Pieroux
Founder and Managing Director, Walpole Partnership

We all love being audited. Audits can be enjoyable. Yes, that’s right… I said those two words together in the same sentence: enjoyable audits! When I recently wrote on this topic for the Oracle Customer Experience (CX) blog, I received mixed feedback ranging from “Andy you must be daft” to “How is a configuration and pricing solution related to a financial audit?” It’s simple actually.

No one wants find themselves at court or read about their company in the next financial headline scandal. One reason small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) invest in a Configure, Price, and Quote (CPQ) cloud solution is that it provides a robust audit trail especially for pricing and deal decisions. CPQ can help. Here’s a look at why, and how.

Pricing Decisions, CPQ, and the Audit Trail

All pricing decisions (who, what, when, why), requests for discounts, the way revenue is allocated across products and services, and the way revenue is recorded all is documented in the CPQ solution. Therefore, a CPQ Cloud solution can be the simple answer to your audit needs.

All approvals are attributed to an individual (along with the reasons why) and time stamped at the time of approval. More importantly, the ability to quickly show an auditor the entire history of a decision and to be able to follow the trail from the quote through the signed deal to the reported revenue shows that

  1. there is nothing to hide
  2. decisions were made according to approved policies and procedures

This builds trust and confidence for the auditor, and any anomalies can be quickly analyzed.

When you combine this tamper-proof process with the storage capabilities of the cloud, with information only accessible only to those who need it, the audit process becomes so much easier. No more anxiety and sleepless nights. Auditors are no longer the enemy. You will find they can advise on improvements to the rules and workflows in your system to make future audits even more enjoyable. Yes - that’s right...I said it. Enjoyable audits!

For SMB’s, CPQ can be an auditor’s friend. Whether you’re a company affected by IFRS 15 or a growing company impacted by GDPR (or any one of a thousand other guidelines, rules, or quality policies that must be followed) having data and decision trails stored in a CPQ system will help make your audits much more palatable too.

For the Love of Audits

Audit transparency is critical for SMBs who want to grow predictably and profitably. Think of all the companies (big and small) that have imploded due to either lack of internal transparency or lax audit practices, then consider the impact this would have on your business. Scandals such as Enron and Worldcom gave rise to stricter audit requirements setting higher standards for internal controls and harsher penalties for executives who fail to ensure that financial statements are accurate. These stronger internal controls introduced additional layers of hierarchy and longer chains of command all of which create additional drag on SMB’s. The solution is to maintain audit transparency with CPQ. 

Honestly, no one loves (or even likes) getting audited. Digging through archived documents to piece together a story for every transaction of what happened and when it happened can bring even the most streamlined department to its knees. With a CPQ Cloud solution in place, information on all quotes (who, what, when, why, how much) are all clearly recorded and documented in a way to please any auditor.

And that can make audits enjoyable. Yes…I said it again.

To learn more, download the full report: Gartner Magic Quadrant for Configure, Price and Quote Application Suites.

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