Compliance Requirements and Microsoft Dynamics AX

1. Standard Operating Procedures
A Standard Operating Procedure is typically instituted within a business to help ensure that efficient, consistent actions are carried out, and it is also used as a tool to assist in the training of new people executing any particular function or task. With compliance, Standard Operating Procedures are added or adjusted to meet the requirement.

  • Perform More Processes Faster: Automated workflow is crucial for enforcing compliance. Manual processes slow productivity. Microsoft Dynamics AX Workflow helps organizations to perform more processes faster and more consistently.
  • Better Internal Controls with Approval Workflows for Financial Journals: Standard Operating Procedures also include enforcing internal controls for specific, pre-defined actions and processes. This can be especially relevant in financial processes.
  • Document and Record Tasks and Activities Automatically: Accurate documentation of tasks and activities and making this information easily accessible are crucial components to enforcing standard operating procedures successfully. Microsoft Dynamics AX delivers the capability of logging and recording tasks and activities and making the information available from the Compliance Center, in Microsoft Office documents and in Microsoft SharePoint sites.
  • Improve Employee Compliance Awareness and Training: Publishing compliance practices and standard operating procedures and making them available within the organization is an important part of managing compliance; however; employee training in compliance practices and company policy is also key.

2. Documented Transactions
Many compliance requirements focus on recording exactly what happened, when, and by whom. For compliance requirements that ask for documented transactions, the transaction should be captured as close to the source of the transaction activity as possible.

  • Track and Trace Transactions:  The audit trail system in Microsoft Dynamics AX supports compliance requirements that require documented transactions. Microsoft Dynamics AX makes it possible to identify the origin of an entry; the user who created the entry and the entry date and time. The inventory trace system also supports batch serial and lot number track and tracing to raw material lots.  In addition, compliance reports such as Audit Trail enables users to view a list of transactions and who created them, transaction types, and accounts and vouchers by transaction date and created date. The audit trail reports are available from the Compliance Center.
  • Automate Quality Assurance: Microsoft Dynamics AX supports quality management by automating the quality assurance process and managing turnaround times when dealing with non-conforming products, regardless of their origination point.
  • Verify and Approve Transactions with Electronic/Digital Signature: Microsoft Dynamics AX enables obtaining approval information for user-defined compliance control processes electronically with electronic signatures. This feature can be used to comply with FDA 21 CFR Part 11 in the Life Sciences process industry and for general compliance scenarios in finance and public sector.

3. Data Integrity
If you document transactions electronically to meet compliance requirements, there must be assurances that the data is available, secure, and tamper proof. In cases of sensitive data, such as credit card and Social Security information, this is a must, and the organization may face significant risk and financial implication if this data is mismanaged. To help ensure data integrity, systems and procedures, such as backup processors and disk systems, must be put in place to make sure there is high availability of data. Data encryption is another way to help ensure integrity of data that could end up in unintended hands, whether the data in question is stored within your systems or transmitted, sent, or stored on remote storage media.

  • Actively Monitor Data Changes with Alerts: Alerts in Microsoft Dynamics AX help organizations monitor and control compliance-related business activities and events. Employees can quickly and easily create alert rules that deliver automatic notifications of changes to purchase orders, vendor address, customer records, data changes, and so on.
  • Improve Internal Controls: System controls in Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Office help with data integrity, data security and help organizations put the controls in place to monitor changes in critical data and policy violations.
  • Standard Reports: Build compliant financial reports such as an income statement or balance sheet in Microsoft Dynamics AX. Ledger accounts can easily be mapped into line items. This helps organizations compose reporting rows based on given posting layers to produce financial statements for different generally accepted accounting principles (GAAPs).
  • Reduce Risk with Improved Security Settings: Security settings are set up and maintained in one place and no matter how much the system is customized the user security-features setup retains its integrity. Microsoft Dynamics AX gives organizations an efficient way to control who has access to what features and data. The administrator can create user groups that have permission to access specific functionality and data based on the organization’s business processes and needs. The administrator then assigns users to the individual groups. The users in each group can only see the functions and data for which they have permission.
  • Data Security and Trustworthy Computing – Microsoft Priorities: Microsoft is committed to building software and services that will help better protect our customers and the industry. Since the Trustworthy Computing Initiative was introduced in early 2002, Microsoft has been working wholeheartedly to address security issues in its software and the industry. As part of our focus on technology investments, Microsoft takes a "defense-in-depth" approach to protection and is aligning around three core elements: fundamentals, threat and vulnerability mitigation, identity and access control.

4. Audit Trails
Although an organization may document transactions and capture and securely store data, this is often not enough, on its own, to meet compliance requirements. There must also be a trail of exactly what changes happened to the data, when it changed, and who/what made the change. This trail of changes is typically referred to as an audit trail.

5. Segregation of Duties/Responsibilities
With highly critical decisions that carry high risk/high value, it is often not advisable to place full responsibility in the hands of a single individual. In a chain of related processes, this would mean separating the authority of people so that they could manage only sub-sets of an activity. In this way, two or more people are required to complete the entire process.

Microsoft Dynamics AX delivers an integrated and automated solution designed to help you manage the risks and costs associated with meeting compliance requirements. Furthermore, it extends your investment in Microsoft products and technologies, and gives you deeper visibility into and control of business practices that you can use to generate a competitive advantage.

Please find the following links for more information about IT compliance with Dynamics Ax 2009.

Partner Source :

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Demo:

Customer Source:

Solution Accelerator for Compliance Management:

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