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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
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You may recall that I introduced a pure SaaS solution in a GRC Tuesdays blog last year: SAP Watch List Screening. If you don’t remember, then I urge you to read the post so that you don’t miss out during your next dinner party when everyone will be talking about it.

And since I am magnanimous, you don’t need to search for the blog yourself, you can simply click on the following link: GRC Tuesdays: Hidden Gems – SAP Watch List Screening for Simplified Due Diligence and Compliance

Why bring this topic once again you may ask?

Well, because I feel this solution answers a more and more pressing need.

With over $1,5bn penalties imposed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in 2023 alone, regulatory pressure – and the financial pain that comes with non-compliance, is real and companies are looking at how technology can help them automate screening without introducing more complexity to the processes.

I think SAP Watch List Screening provides a great answer to that. And yes: it does use Artificial Intelligence to achieve this feat!

Oxford dictionary defines Artificial Intelligence as “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.”

And this is precisely what SAP Watch List Screening does: automate decision making so that trade compliance specialists in charge of screening are provided with all the data they need to perform their tasks. But it goes a step further: it also removes unnecessary burden from the user’s inbox. In that sense, it doesn’t add workload, it really acts in the background and only raises exceptions to be investigated when needed. All the others are closed automatically.

In essence, Screening specialists need to ensure that no transaction with parties on sanction lists can go ahead, but they also need to do this efficiently as any delay on their side can delay the entire sales process. Making a lot of people unhappy!


A simple 4-ingredient recipe


To achieve their goals, I think they only need 4 ingredients:

  • An automated software that consolidates information about screened data, list provider, percentage match, source, etc. in a single source – this is the value proposition brought by SAP Watch List Screening
  • Up-to-date denied party lists – this is provided by our content provider Mendel Verlag (separate contract required) automatically updated within the SAP screening service
  • Audit capability with the findings (hits) identified during the screening process – well, this one is really for the auditors in case there are questions and is of course a core capability
  • … and a secret ingredient: reduction of false positives – this is where the magic happens!


Too many screening hits – especially false positives, means that the Screening specialist will be spending too much time on avoidable investigations. Wasting valuable time and energy. And here’s where the intelligent screening comes in.


Intelligent screening


The intelligent screening capability within SAP Watch List Screening is a feature allowing the business user to avoid investigating again and again if the very same attributes are matched against the same entity several times. Instead, intelligent screening automatically decides on a “hit” when the screened name and the screened address are identical to records already investigated – matching decisions in the graph above, and completed. For this decision-making, the intelligent screening is fed by manual decisions made by Screening specialists on new hits that then serve as the basis for future automated decisions on hits with identical pairings.

All manual investigations therefore automatically improve the virtuous circle and help reduce – even prevent! – future manual efforts since the intelligent screening can automatically confirm or automatically reject hits that are similar to previous ones.


Illustration of a hit automatically rejected by intelligent screening so it won’t burden the investigator’s inbox

No more avoidable investigations by Screening specialists! These experts can now spend more time investigating real cases where their valuable insight can make a true difference.

What about you, how does your company automate the screening of sanction parties today? I look forward to reading your thoughts and comments either on this blog or on Twitter @TFrenehard

And if you are interested in learning more about SAP solutions for Governance, Risk, and Compliance, feel free to fill-in the demo request form!