Adaptable software from Corporate Governance Risk, gives you confidence in decisions and actions
Corporate Governance Risk began operations in Perth, Western Australia in 2010 and is now also operating in the UK as CGR Ltd and Canada as CGR Inc. Our business management software, CGR Foundation, is a cloud solution that helps clients to improve processes, linking data and people with simple workflows and transparent reporting. It is currently used across a global client base that spans over 70 countries and can be made available in different languages.
The problem that we help solve is significant and wide ranging across any size of company (and we support some of the largest). CGR’s leadership brings first-hand experience, from former careers across public and private sector enterprise, of the pain points associated with managing governance systems in legacy tools and as spreadsheets – whether focused on risk, compliance or any other domain. Spreadsheets are fine for what they were designed to do: basic everyday calculations. However, organisations are often awash with them for things they weren’t designed to do: process and qualitative data such as for audits and action tracking. Many workforces have just fallen into a state of passive acceptance of this default way of working for decades. It’s a big problem hiding in plain sight, with impacts in five key areas.
- Efficiency. Every day, teams will be manually cross-referencing spreadsheets against an array of other records, fighting with version control and standardisation, seeing processes not followed, sending reminders, and painstakingly building powerpoint slides from constantly changing data. Focus on the ‘what’ comes at the expense of addressing the ‘so what’.
- Reporting. The resulting slide decks and ‘master’ spreadsheets are inevitably out of date before they are even presented and probably offer an incomplete picture. Despite best efforts, things can be lost in manual correlation of data, and a single version of the truth is impossible to maintain manually in this type of data environment. In terms of public and shareholder disclosure there are significant associated risks, with inadvertently inaccurate disclosure attracting sanction or loss of investment.
- Decision-making. Sub-optimal reporting in turn weakens the foundations of decision-making. If situational awareness is incomplete, it follows that decision-making can be flawed. In systems based on spreadsheets, the record of decision-making can itself be difficult to find and follow.
- Accountability. Holding to account is hard without a live, clear and accessible picture of what needs to be done versus what has been done. Where the history of action assignment and progress is hidden in one-to-one email trails it is impossible to maintain a common picture of what has been done, and a lack of transparency doesn’t’ encourage positive organisational behaviour. The response can be to demand more data, which compounds the problems above.
- Collaboration. Collaboration will be more difficult than it needs to be, with stakeholders maintaining their own versions of the truth which can lead to unnecessary friction and inefficient use of time in complex stakeholder environments. This doesn’t promote a culture of trust and confidence.
Our experience of this dynamic from former careers across our leadership team is continuously augmented by listening to our clients and learning about their own challenges. This enables us to tailor deployment of our system, CGR Foundation, to each client’s individual context. It is based on configuration settings and not coding which is critically important in terms of delivering speed, agility and value for money. Forms, fields, workflows, notifications and dashboards can be rapidly set-up by our delivery staff. Individual fields can take minutes to create – allowing the time to be spent in understanding client needs so that the system is right for them. More importantly we can then train client system admin users to maintain and change those settings over time as their organisation evolves. This ensures that the client process drives the system during business as usual, and not the other way around – reducing the client’s vendor dependency.
The result is a system that addresses the pain points identified above. The heavy lifting of reminders and data collation is done by the system, with updates from users reflected in a live picture where links between records (eg audits, findings and actions) are maintained and visible. This makes reporting simple and efficient, and promotes confidence in data that is immediately accessible. Every system record has an audit trail capturing data and approvals, with owners and due dates clearly visible together with the history of assignment, acceptance and review. This promotes a culture of transparency and accountability which extends across internal and external stakeholders alike – clients can choose to assign accounts to other parties (eg their own clients or sub-contractors) on a long or short term basis to bring them into the pictures and collaborate.
The capability of our product has grown at every stage. Every software release is informed by client feedback that is formally reviewed several times per month, together with learnings and trends from the wider market environment.
In the early years our contracts were focused in supporting development of major infrastructure in the offshore oil and gas industry, providing a means to manage the risk controls in major projects to meet investor scrutiny. This quickly broadened into safety and compliance across a range of high-hazard industry including mining and transport – and then into health, energy, transport, finance, retail, professional services and other domains. In fact, our global client base now spans every sector in the Global Industry Classification Standard, and ranges from smaller scale up to FTSE 100. We are proud of this achievement as an SME, and of the service and solution we provide to our clients. If any of this overview resonates with you and your organisation, please get in touch – we would be delighted to speak with you.