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Case Study: University of Queensland

Satori and UQ have been successfully working together for over 4 years.

“The key to continuous monitoring is making sure remedial action is taken to prevent future occurrences. SatoriCCM has been a key mechanism to drive change.”
– Tracy Laurence, Manager Internal Audit, University of Queensland


The University of Queensland (UQ) is one of the top universities in Australia. There are 3 main campuses and multiple off-campus sites including marine research stations on Heron and Stradbroke Islands. UQ facilities include teaching hospitals, mineral research centres and the UQ Business School in Brisbane’s CBD. UQ manages revenue of $1.83 Billion (2017) including research income of $551 million. There are over 52,000 students, 11 residential colleges and 6,700 full-time equivalent staff across 6 faculties and 29 schools.

UQ has many decentralised business units and faculties that share a centralised platform for purchase-to-pay, HR/payroll and employee expense management processes. Whilst there are detailed central policies and procedures in place, the size and complexity of UQ means that different units may have very different financial practices. Diversity, although a strength of the University, increases the challenge of financial management and control. UQ’s challenge was to identify process and control weaknesses, and data accuracy issues for the organisation.


  • High volumes of transactional Data
  • Monitoring of employees who may also be suppliers
  • Desire for change in culture and staff behaviour


  • Strengthening of internal control processes
  • Improved data completeness and accuracy
  • Automation and efficiency
  • Greater re-assurance to management
  • Enabled Internal Audit to focus on other areas of risk rather than standard financial processes


In Phase 1 of SatoriCCM implementation the focus was on accounts payable transactions and vendor master file completeness and accuracy. The automated testing moved beyond the typical duplicate payment testing to include testing for GST discrepancies and vendor compliance. Continuous auditing provides re-assurance for UQ across their high transaction volumes and large numbers of employees. UQ’s Internal Audit department identified Satori (SatoriCCM) as their solution to provide management greater re-assurance of their financial processes and controls.

SatoriCCM offers total data integrity and protects businesses from risks, costly mistakes and fraud.


Phase 2 concentrated on the Human Resource (HR) Master File and conflict of interest (COI) identification. A unique trait of the University is that employees may also be legitimate suppliers. Academics are sometimes the sole supplier of a particular product or intellectual property. SatoriCCM assisted by monitoring these relationships automatically on a daily basis and enable the University to have up-to-date discourse documentation in place to avoid any future compliance issues.

Phase 3 focused on monitoring employee expenses to ensure spending policies were adhered to. Travel expenses and credit cards are a popular subject area for continuous monitoring and often once monitored there is noticeable behavioural change in the organisation.
The monitoring, performed automatically and on a continuous basis, incorporated other data sets such as Accounts Payable and HR master files.


The UQ Internal Audit team are responsible for administering the CCM program and act as a conduit between Satori Group and the various UQ business units. Each UQ business unit is responsible for the management of their respective CCM modules, which assists in fast resolutions of data anomaly root causes.

One of the key components of a successful continuous control monitoring solution is for the business to be responsible for following up on the Highly Probable and High Payoff exceptions in the data. Therefore buy-in across the organisation is as imperative as the workflows that address the exceptions. The customisable nature of CCM analytics allows it to be programmed to deliver only “true” exceptions to the business user. The ability for SatoriCCM to be custom designed ensures that the business user is not bombarded with white noise exceptions that are false or low relevance or risk.

“The key to continuous monitoring is making sure remedial action is taken to prevent future occurrences. SatoriCCM has been a key mechanism to drive change.”
– Tracy Laurence, Manager Internal Audit, University of Queensland

Satori Continuous Control Monitoring re-assures management that the policies, procedures and controls in place are functioning as designed, and doing so efficiently and effectively. SatoriCCM helps to proactively manage exceptions to ensure that they are followed up in a timely manner and provides insight into why exceptions are occurring in the business. SatoriCCM provides peace of mind and protects organisations from unnecessary risk, costly mistakes and fraud.