EY + Microsoft Extend Partnership to Focus on Legal Needs

Big Four firm EY and tech giant Microsoft have extended their partnership to focus on a new initiative for legal and compliance matters, in another – but this time very major – example of a tech provider and a consulting group partnering closely in the legal sector.

The firm said: ‘…. the organisations will help businesses’ legal and compliance teams to identify and mitigate ethical and reputational risks; investigate and manage regulatory challenges; detect fraud; and manage privacy and security risks.’

The move is part of the existing EY and Microsoft alliance that involves a commitment to launch new solutions – but this time the focus is very much on legal and related compliance needs.

Part of this project will be based on the EY Virtual platform – a single-point digital solution, available via the cloud or hybrid, that helps organizations to manage their legal, compliance, ethics, and risks through a suite of AI-driven analytics and workflow applications.

‘Making use of state-of-the-art technologies and EY subject matter knowledge, EY Virtual uses bots to automate routine and rules-based tasks, and AI to refine models based on situational learnings,’ they added.

The platform, which is powered by the Microsoft Cloud, can complement the information protection and compliance capabilities in Microsoft 365 E5 including: Insider Risk, eDiscovery, and Information Governance and Compliance to protect and govern data while reducing risk, they said.

Microsoft has already implemented EY Virtual as part of its own Spend Risk Monitoring Modernization (SRMM) program. The platform allows Microsoft to speed up risk rating of its global spending, and consolidate existing siloed compliance programs, removing more than 10,000 hours of work annually across its business.

Todd Marlin, EY Global Forensic & Integrity Services Technology & Innovation Leader, commented: ‘Year on year, boards of directors have increasingly higher expectations of their legal and compliance functions and their ability to monitor, mitigate risk and respond in a cost efficient and integrated manner.

‘There are many single point analytics solutions available that focus on a narrow area of integrity and compliance, but EY Virtual is different because it is a collaborative platform with a configurable interface that can integrate with new technologies and legacy systems. As regulatory and compliance requirements expand, it can quickly adapt to the business landscape.’

Lyn Bird, Vice President, Enterprise Functions, Industry Solutions, Microsoft, added:  ‘Legal and compliance done right is a modern experience that works continuously and allows employees and organizations to focus on their core competencies. Microsoft and EY share this belief, and have a valued partnership focused on delivering legal and compliance solutions through the latest technology.

‘EY Virtual combined with Microsoft 365 intelligent compliance and risk management solutions makes it easier for customers to assess compliance risks, govern and protect sensitive data, respond to regulatory requirements and ultimately drive back office transformation.’

Andy Baldwin, EY Global Managing Partner – Client Service, concluded: ‘EY and Microsoft are addressing important societal concerns by providing General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officers, Internal Audit and other stakeholders with access to tools that enable better business practices, help fight fraud and improve integrity. I am proud of what our technology teams have accomplished with Microsoft and knowing the breadth of challenges we help our clients with, I expect to see a continuous and wider set of capabilities over the coming months and years.’