AMTdirect Blog

Why Sandboxes are Important When Working with Lease Accounting Compliance

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It’s the 21st century and our world of rapidly expanding technology has almost completely integrated into our daily lives. With the ability to adapt applications and software to each unique business, there is one major component that’s essential for quality software customization: sandboxes

A sandbox is an environment for untested features of software applications that allows experimentation before a new feature is deployed or new company processes are created. Sandboxes are extremely important for the quality assurance and risk management of specific applications and are used to enhance your lease accounting software.

Sandboxes are the perfect solution to balancing creative innovation with quality assurance and risk management. Being able to adapt to changes in our world today is critical to a company’s continued growth and sustainability. Sandboxing offers the best solution to safely updating and creating new functions within existing software.

Quality assurance and risk management specifically complement one another in a sandbox environment. They ensure the software meets certain requirements, standards, and security measures. 

There are a variety of ways these benefits can be used to better your current systems or lease management software to grow with your business.


Quality Assurance

Quality assurance is best defined as how accurately a system or piece of software fulfills the process requirements needed. Essentially, quality assurance verifies that a company’s software objectives are consistently met and accurate by validating what you are testing to verify that it is relevant to your business.

Sandboxing allows quality assurance practices to be brought into a new feature from the very beginning of development through continuous testing of the new function. The earlier you can introduce quality assurance into your software or application updates, the more time and money you will save later.

It is also important, especially regarding financial information, that your software meets certain data specifications to ensure the efficient and accurate transmission of information. By testing software in a sandbox, you can make sure that all standards and regulations are met. Along with ensuring that the system does what it is intended to do before actively using it. This increases its reliability and cost-effectiveness in the long run.  

Imagine that you work for a real estate company and you have recently gone through a period of growth. Your lease portfolio has grown in complexity and you want to do some scenario-based testing to see what the best or worst case will look like. 

The sandbox for your lease administration and accounting software is the perfect place to test scenarios. Reassuring your team that the new information you are looking to utilize is accurate. Along with meeting the requirements of your business before your colleagues access the information. After testing, you are confident in the quality assurance of the new software function and have also mitigated any potential risks to your current systems.

Sandboxing best enables your QA team to identify and isolate potential issues or non-essential functions before they escalate.  


Risk Management

Risk management is best known as the security aspect of sandboxing and helps you take steps to prepare for unexpected events. It focuses on the probability and uncertainty of risks found in human error. While you can never eliminate the risk of human error, sandboxing allows the time and resources to triple check the new function for potential errors.

Risk management compliments quality assurance in a sandbox environment. The two work together to create and test a new software function to ensure it is correct and secure as possible.

Risk management, when utilized in a sandbox, enhances your existing security measures and systems such as virus-detection programs and behavior monitoring. In this isolated environment, the sandbox allows you to test new functions and potential threats to security before affecting your live data. 

Sandboxing essentially allows a function to run and work without giving it access to all the data and resources on your system. Additionally, they can allow a security check of the code from a third-party source to ensure it does not contain anything that might disrupt your system.

Sandboxes are also useful for identifying zero-day threats. Zero-day threats are vulnerabilities within a system that do not match any known malware signatures or have not been seen before. In the testing environment, you can isolate and eliminate these threats before they are released into your system or have access to critical company data. 

Your security manager can report any issues or threats to prevent it from harming other systems. By utilizing a sandbox environment to isolate security threats, it also provides the perfect environment for your security manager to identify any vulnerabilities in your company’s network. Aiding in improvements to your security over time.

Another aspect of risk management is the ability to compartmentalize information or restrict certain accesses. When on boarding a new employee or looking to give someone limited access to some of your company’s critical information, the sandbox is your place. The testing environment of a sandbox ensures they will only see what they need to. 

Sandboxes typically have modification capabilities as well. Allowing you to take an existing function within a piece of software, and modify it within the sandbox. Giving you the ability to try it on for size without changing the piece that others may already be using. This is especially useful to identify exactly what new ability the function needs to make sure it is accurately reflecting the information that is needed.

Risk mitigation is especially important regarding lease management and utilizing lease accounting software. The complex and significant financial information each lease possesses should have a high amount of security. 

Furthermore, sandbox environments can be the perfect place to upload lease documents, such as PDFs, to test. Sometimes these documents can contain malware that may harm or exploit your systems. 

No single security measure can guarantee 100% network security. Sandboxes work directly with other security measures to provide a diverse and complete security profile. Working together these measures help prevent anything harmful reaching your system or device. When sandboxing is paired with your lease accounting software it provides another layer of security essential to safeguarding your company information. 


Visualization and Creative Exploration While Working From Home

As most individuals have had to work from home at some point this year, it should not have to be an excuse to pause creative exploration. Sandboxing is a great tool for visualizing how a new function or piece of software will look and how it will perform. These can be collaborative environments among employees. They are significant in adapting to the many changes our world is facing today by utilizing version control.

Version control is the ability for a sandbox to keep previous versions of a function or piece of software accessible over time. There are several benefits found in version control where you can find all previous versions of the function in order to go back to see what was being specified previously. 

If a bug ends up making it into your live production system you can quickly revert to a previous version or compare the current version to past implementations. Allowing your team to find the source of the bug and fix it.

Version control is also useful during times of change where it can be used if you have a new employee on boarding or you want to give an existing member different access. You can show them the steps you took to get to the current version. Helping them get up to speed quickly, while also encouraging further definition and sustainability over time. Version control is mostly utilized in teams that exercise consistent collaboration.

Sandbox environments are based on the ideas of continuous innovation and creative exploration. They offer the best way to adjust your systems to changing information and business fluctuations. By offering an environment that encourages collaboration, sandboxes bring together different departments in your company. Providing real user feedback and ideas before implementing your new feature. 

Bolstering inter-departmental relationships not only benefits a company but can save time and revisions of the new function in the future. If your company is hesitant to implement a remote-desktop protocol strategy (RDP), sandboxes provide the perfect solution. By keeping your systems secure, even if your team is not in the office. 

The best solutions are sometimes the ones that fail the most in the beginning. Progress is difficult to come by without failure. Sandboxing provides the perfect environment for users to make mistakes essential to progress, without affecting or interacting with your live company data. Breaking a function or system in the sandbox can assist in identifying issues that might arise in the future. 

With a sandbox, your lease accounting software can be tailored to your specific needs time and time again, through any change the world throws at you.


Sandboxing for Your AMTdirect Lease Accounting Software

AMTdirect is offering your team the benefits of sandboxing to compliment your lease accounting software. The AMT Sandbox provides an isolated environment completely modeled after your lease accounting software to include all the same data and configurations. The sandbox is also continuously updated as new features are released for compatibility, so you never have to worry about out of date functionality.

The AMT Sandbox provides several opportunities and benefits such as:

  • New feature experimentation
  • Project-level testing
  • Business-driven quality assurance
  • The ability to onboard and train new members in a safe environment

No business is static, and every company needs an environment that encourages the safe testing of modifications for business adaptation. By allowing the opportunity to safely fail and build up functions, you can modify your lease accounting software to fit your business needs without introducing risk to your live production environment later. 

A great benefit of using the AMT Sandbox is the ability to test new features in your system as AMTdirect releases them. This includes all features that you are licensed for even if you are not using a specific feature today. Testing new functionality out in the sandbox environment allows your team to see the benefits it will bring to your company’s operations.

Your sandbox will have early access to new features to allow you to vet out the new updates before utilizing them in your production environment. You can even expect guiding release notes for new features to help you test them in the sandbox before their availability. This ability to test features before using them will ensure that you only spend time on what is beneficial to your business. Ultimately cutting out extra noise in your lease accounting software.

The AMT sandbox offers two main database structures to choose from multi-tenant and single-tenant databases. If you have a low number of leases or your lease portfolio is not extremely diverse, you might benefit from the multi-tenant sandbox. The multi-tenant sandbox gives you all the features of a sandbox with cost-savings in mind. This option is ideal for companies that don’t need to control when their sandbox environment refreshes happen.

Single-tenant sandboxes, on the other hand, are for complex lease portfolios and companies with a high number of leases. This sandbox environment allows a higher level of management control and data isolation. This environment will be put on its own server to add an extra layer of protection and security to safeguard your sensitive data. Along with on-demand refreshes for their sandbox environment.

Looking to enhance your lease accounting software in ways that can directly impact the security and efficiency of your business?

Reach out to AMTdirect to see how we can help get you started!



Posted on 9/10/20 2:10 PM by Ata Khan in Lease Accounting, in Compliance

Ata Khan

Written by Ata Khan

As Vice President of Marketing at AMTdirect, Ata leads all aspects of the business' marketing efforts and strategy. As an industry expert, his goal is to bring AMTdirect to all businesses looking to harness the power of a lease accounting and administration software solution.

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