Oversight Systems Inc. has launched a new way for users to access their forensic monitoring system, through online software.

Oversight On-Demand, a Web-based version of the company's Oversight Continuous Monitoring system, provides for periodic "health checks" of an organization's financial accounting and reporting processes.

Oversight On-Demand automates forensic analysis of a company's financial data, using advanced statistical analysis techniques to comprehensively inspect transactions for fraud, misuse and errors, and test the effectiveness of internal controls over financial reporting. Users can choose to do one-time analyses on financial accounting and reporting, the procure-to-pay process, travel and expense reporting, vendor master file maintenance, and purchase cards.

"It's changing our deployment model so now we actually have servers running in our data center," said Patrick Taylor, founder and chief executive of Oversight Systems, who described his system as a virtual auditor. "What a client can do is send us a quarter's worth of data or a month's worth of data. We'll run it through our system and give them access to a secure Web server, so they are using the same product and the same user interface, but they are basically paying for it on a usage basis."

Oversight On-Demand accommodates files from enterprise resource planning vendors such as SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards.

Taylor said an analysis could take on average up to one week, and that one "health check" could cost roughly $4,750.

"We're going to find stuff that is going to be interesting," he said, adding the system will likely find more errors than fraud, and that the goal is to minimize the "false positives." "You are going to want to end up investigating the results we identify."

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