For many organisations, April heralds the start of a new financial year, with a new set of challenges and budgets to manage. A recovery audit can be a great way to maximise income this year, with no upfront costs to budget for.

Sarah is one of APL’s Senior Management Team with over 10 years’ experience working with our largest clients across all sectors of the business. With a background in intelligence analytics and a qualified project management professional, she is well placed to help guide new clients through the onboarding phase to deliver maximum impact within minimal timeframes.

Here, are Sarah’s thoughts on her Top 5 reasons for organisations to plan a recovery audit this year.

5 Reasons to have a recovery audit this year…

For lots of us, April marks the start of the financial year, and with that comes a whole new set of challenges for the year ahead, quite apart from the challenges we have already encountered as a result of the global impact of COVID-19

One area you might not yet have planned for the year ahead is a spend recovery audit. In fact, many audit professionals I speak to know very little about this niche audit area, however this is something which can really contribute towards achieving your organisations targets for profit and risk management strategies, with no risk and minimal resource requirement from you and your team.

Having worked as a Senior Audit Manager with Audit Partnership for over 10 years, it’s been tough to whittle down my list of reasons to have a recovery audit down to just five. However, I think the below really sum up the value and benefits these reviews provide for my clients, so here is my ‘Top 5’ reasons to have a recovery audit this year:

  • Cash benefit this year – This must be #1 on my list! As we are specialists in this field, we recover from hundreds of thousands, up to millions of pounds of lost revenue to our clients each year. Despite the most sophisticated internal processes and controls, our expertise means we still find and recover lost income for our clients’ organisations, so it really is worthwhile to ensure you are maximising your income this year.
  • Internal Savings Next Year (and beyond) – Not only does the recovery audit generate an income stream this year, but the lessons learned about where and how money is lost within your business means there are long term benefits from internal savings and process improvements. One of the key outputs our customers receive is our specialist reporting and feedback on the root cause of any loss, and recommendations for process and system improvements, which help you target and prevent these areas of financial leakage going forward.
  • Safeguarding Supplier Relationships – This is a big one, and something close to my heart having been a client and supplier manager within APL for many years. One of the biggest perceived barriers I face when speaking to new customers is fear that a recovery audit will damage supplier relationships. At APL we have dedicated supplier relationship teams who are separate from the audit process. They are friendly, professional, and most of all collaborative, to resolve audit queries together with the supplier. With our approach focussed on positive working relationships, supplier disruption is never something our clients need to work about.
  • Quick to onboard – Our teams are highly experienced in upscaling and onboarding new clients at pace, to deliver impact within the year. We offer a range of recovery audit solutions, from Accounts Payable focussing on payment errors, to Supplier Agreement reviews for retailers. Our team has all the expertise you need, from Project Management professionals like myself, to Data Acquisition leads, through to the specialist Audit Manager who will direct and manage the audit work. We will facilitate the workgroups needed to identify stakeholders, resources and map out the project plan to ensure we are able to onboard and start identification and recovery of income within the shortest possible lead times.
  • Better governance of vendor contracts – Quite a topical one, particularly due to the accelerated payments which have been made over the past year to ensure no delay in invoice payments during the COVID-19 period. One of our core services is a Contract Review, which looks back over your vendor agreements to ensure contractual terms have been complied with, and resolve any issues arising. Contract reviews are relevant for all organisations, and ensures vendor contracts are appropriate, robust, and well managed. This can be anything from temporary staffing agreements, to IT Spend, or even a cross section of different categories, to ensure your organisation is receiving the agreed value from its contracts business wide.

A spend recovery review is beneficial to any organisation spending a large amount with third party vendors, so if it has been a couple of years since your last review, or if the concept of recovery audit is completely new to you, I’d love to have a chat with you about how we can deliver all these benefits and more to your business.

Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and we arrange an informal chat over a (virtual!) coffee, or inbox me and the team here at APL on [email protected]!

Sarah Green

Head Business Development – Pre and Post Payment Audit