APL have experience of working with retail clients for over 20 years, to conduct intelligent, data driven recovery audits specifically designed for this complex, fast paced industry.

In the below case study we look back over our relationship with one of UK’s largest retailers, to show how APL ensures the recovery audit provision is the best in class.

 Case Description:

End to End Supplier Agreement and Accounts Payable review for one of UK’s largest grocery retailers.

The Requirement:

Specialist retail audit of supplier agreements and accounts payable, including a mixture of split ledger and second pass work with the incumbent primary provider.

APL Solution:

APL began working as recovery audit partners with the client in 2013 on a split ledger basis alongside the previous primary provider, before moving into the primary role from April 2015. The initial scope of the audit included Accounts Payable and Goods for Resale Supplier Agreements over six historical years.

APL’s audit approach is highly suited to complex organisations, as the work is directed by our experienced and talented senior leaders, who tailor each aspect of the review to the specific client requirements and constraints. Our in-house team of data analysts and developers then design bespoke audit toolkits and algorithms unique to the client data, ensuring a comprehensive and detailed audit coverage, and reconciliation of accounts by our team of audit specialists.

A key factor in delivering a successful outcome for the customer was the assignment of a dedicated Account Manager from our Senior Management Team. By working closely with customer stakeholders from all departments, and building meaningful relationships based on our expertise and experience, we built the client culture into the heart of our practice, providing a service that was truly tailored to the client ethos and ways of working.

With specialist support from dedicated audit and supplier relationship teams, we were able to identify areas for continuous improvements within the invoice processing and commercial functions, to support our client’s business, whilst ensuring suppliers were fully engaged with the collaborative and transparent approach. Rather than a projectised, transactional relationship, APL became a true business partner to deliver successful outcomes.


Despite initially working behind and alongside a primary team which were embedded within the client processes, APL identified many previously unknown claim areas, and outperformed the incumbent team in both recovery value and claim conversion. As a result, we were quickly promoted to the primary team at contract review.

APL’s success went beyond the customer’s expectations, and yielded several process improvements, including bringing historical reviews closer to present date, and ensuring supplier accounts were audited and closed within a 2-year period, instead of the previous 6 years.

Our partnership has also enabled the customer to benefit from APL’s unique audit toolkit to answer queries and resolve issues in year, across all areas of the business, from payment processing to commercial agreements. We continue to support the customer is designing bespoke services based on specific needs, such as dispute resolution, and compliance / performance reviews.

From sharing the root cause analysis and recommendations from our audit findings, we have enabled the customer to implement process and control improvements, to prevent lost revenue and maximise efficiency. This includes implementing robust processes to monitor and control payments and billing in-house, and part of a proactive, preventative approach.