Arthur Andersen Business Risk Management (now Ernst & Young)
Arthur Andersen had a successful risk management business. They wanted to provide their clients with the competitive
advantage of a portal that fully captured engagements in real-time (concomitantly increasing the value of Arthur Andersen's
own offerings). Arthur Andersen asked Cordsel to lead a development team in the creation of the web-based portal.
In addition to capturing a client's business, the portal would manage the entire lifecycle of the Arthur Andersen business
risk management process.
Cordsel understood that a thorough assessment of existing process was crucial to the success of the web-based application.
Interviews were conducted with employees. The official handbook of business risk management process was studied. In the
course of the learning process, senior managers and auditors at Arthur Andersen were forced to revisit and reevaluate the
existing process: they realized that some of the information was outdated, and some valuable knowledge had not been captured
in the literature.
Once process and methodology had been revised, application development began. Risk management clients normally had no
real-time feedback mechanism: not at Andersen, nor at other firms in the industry. Cordsel's portal provided Andersen's
clients with access to comprehensive engagement information in real time; it was also a valuable management tool for
Andersen consultants. Intelligent business rules drove the application: Andersen consultants would receive alerts based
on user roles and responsibilities; alerts specific to their role in a client engagement.
The final application was delivered on time and in budget.
Cordsel built an EJB-like distributed enterprise application server that ran on all platforms on a Java Enterprise
Architecture (J2EE). The web-based portal communicated with multiple databases and integrated then-current heterogeneous
software tools used by Arthur Andersen in performing business and technology risk evaluations and audits.
The new web-based portal gave Arthur Andersen's clients a valuable competitive advantage: at that time, no other firms
were offering an integrated real-time portal for clients. Andersen clients could now follow their engagements much more
closely than they previously could.
The development of the application also dramatically improved the efficiency of Arthur Andersen's consultants: process
and methodology were redefined and, as employees used the application, methodology was reinforced.
Since this project, Ernst & Young has acquired Arthur Andersen; they continue to highlight their application suite for
business risk management as a competitive advantage and the core of their engagements.