Crowe LLP Develops Free Pandemic Response App
Posted by John Goode, Senior Director of Channel Marketing
The world of governance, risk and compliance (GRC) software may not seem highly relevant to the coronavirus pandemic, but Crowe LLP, a public accounting, consulting and technology firm has found a way to contribute.
The firm, which is also a NetSuite Solution Provider, has developed the Crowe Pandemic Response App to help companies manage through the current challenges, which it is providing at no cost.
“Our clients were telling us that it is getting really difficult to track employees in various locations affected by different orders from their local governments,” said Gayle Woodbury, managing director in consulting services at Crowe. “We knew we could develop a solution that would bring data from various sources allowing companies to make decisions and manage their organizations in this difficult environment.”
Crowe helps companies implement GRC programs and technologies. When COVID-19 escalated in the U.S., the specialists at Crowe developed a solution that brings together a set of management tools with jurisdictional mandates, personnel, facility, customer and vendor information.
“This is what I know how to do. I am not a doctor, or a nurse or scientist, but I know how to use systems to bring data together, the data that people will need to manage this.” Woodbury said.
The solution provides functionality in three key areas:
1. Jurisdiction Management and Mandate Tracking: The Crowe Pandemic Response App tracks mandates from state and local governments allowing companies to link that information to personnel, third parties and facilities. Companies can identify which employees, contractors, customers, vendors and facilities are affected by mandates, allowing them to make decisions like which facilities to close, which employees need to work from home or which customers may need extended payment terms.
The Crowe Pandemic Response App: Jurisdiction and Mandate Tracking
2. Personnel Support and Special Authorizations: A self-assessment survey gathers relevant data including location, remote office needs, work schedule changes, safety concerns and wellness. With this insight, companies can launch a support action to address the employees’ need for equipment, money, tangible goods, emotional support or other assistance. For example, if the employee needs a laptop, that action goes into a queue for approval, delivery, shipment tracking and eventual recovery of the equipment. Essential work authorizations are also managed through this functionality, allowing an employee the ability to generate an essential personnel letter, also known as a “safe passage letter,” to show to authorities upon request.
3. Exposure Management and Contact Tracing: Users can launch an exposure case for employees who have been exposed to the coronavirus. Exposure cases create a workflow requiring periodic check-ins with the employee, documenting communication, recent contacts, employee condition and recovery location (such as a hospital). Companies can link together multiple cases that resulted from the same exposure. Exposure actions are also triggered by an exposure case, which can notify landlords, other companies co-located in the same building, report to health jurisdictions and trigger other actions such as facility closing and sanitizing. These actions and their resolutions are documented so companies can identify what they did once they knew about the exposure.
At the core of this application is the data source. Crowe found that a single data source didn’t exist for bringing together all the jurisdictional mandates, so they assigned 51 people (50 states plus Washington DC) to monitor public information sources and enter it into a central database. This data is combined with other public data sources, like Johns Hopkins COVID case information, to provide a data feed for the app. Crowe continues to monitor for new data sources to incorporate as they become available.
“We have large enterprise organizations primarily using the jurisdiction and mandate tracking to supplement functionality within very sophisticated business continuity planning (BCP) applications that were not designed with this type of global event in mind,” Woodbury said. “Many smaller to midsized companies don’t have a BCP application, so they are leveraging all the functionality.”
Crowe is providing services through their more than 30-person GRC tech team, also at no cost, to help companies get up and running on the solution. It takes about an hour to set up the jurisdiction and mandate functionality and about four hours if companies want to implement the complete functionality.
“This is an ongoing investment on our side,” Woodbury said. “Our team is stepping up to help companies to get set up, in between their normal day-to-day responsibilities and by working longer hours because they feel like they are doing something to help. This is a testament to the culture of Crowe.”
Crowe continues to enhance the functionality of the solutions. For more information and to get the solution go to https://www.crowe.com/services/consulting/pandemic-response-app