Accounts Payable Recovery Audits: Providing Dollars Back to Your Bottom Line

Accounting systems today are markedly different from years ago when there were limited controls in place to prevent weaknesses such as erroneous or duplicated payments. As technology has evolved, so too have the tools within your accounting systems to ensure your payments are valid, accurate and timely. Some of today’s leading accounting systems allow for real time invoice auditing and validation of payments to suppliers. However, these built-in checks are not always guaranteed as data entry error along with supplier invoicing inaccuracies can be present.

To combat the potential for duplicate payments, overpayments and invalid payments many companies simply perform high level reviews based on structured reports; however, this reporting can often only provide a synopsis  and may miss many of the errors buried in the detail and beyond the capability of tools alone. In addition, more times than not, these reviews are often placed on the back burner or neglected entirely.

In today’s environment, it is crucial to ensure your payments are accurate and suppliers are not holding funds on account that were paid in error. To prevent such, organizations have begun engaging third party providers with experience in high powered data analytics to review their payments and help recover dollars back to the bottom line.

Clearview Group’s approach to AP Recovery Audits

Clearview Group’s experienced consultants utilize data analytics to analyze your data based on proven effectiveness to identify erroneous payments that may not be detected by built in system controls. Our queries have been developed based on years of experience to detect the payments that beat or circumvent built-in system controls. In addition, our assessment is multi-faceted, and includes a separate review of your top suppliers to identify additional recovery opportunities. This assessment captures errors made outside of your system, often by your suppliers invoicing departments. These funds are held on account at your supplier awaiting return to your bottom line. Additionally, our subject matter experts provide insight into your accounting and accounts payable environment to get to the root cause of the erroneous payments to stop them in the future, before they go out the door.

As detailed, many organizations rely on their internal resources to provide periodic monitoring to identify these errors; however, deeper insights typically characterized as important for executive leadership during these processes, tend to be overlooked. Engaging a third-party vendor, allows executive leadership valuable insight through a fresh perspective and ensures that current processes align with rapidly evolving industry best practices.

The benefits of engaging Clearview Group on an AP Recovery Audit include:

  • Risk-Free Look 

    Clearview is so confident in our ability, we perform these services on a contingent basis, which means if we don’t identify financial results, there is no cost to you. We provide dollars back to the bottom line without a sunken cost.

  • Save Time and Resources 

    It can take a significant amount of time and effort to build and maintain an effective review program that monitors payments on an on-going basis. It is not always practical to have a fully dedicated resource or fully functioning team. Our services are scalable programs to fit your needs.

  • Benefit of Experience 

    Capturing all potential areas of leakage requires up to date knowledge of the current landscape. A proper review of your payments is not as simple as clicking a button or running pre-canned scripts and reports.  The tester must have a thorough understanding of what tools to use, how to properly configure the tools, and what the potential areas for control weaknesses are to identify erroneous payments.

  • Higher Likelihood of Success

    Third parties are more likely to identify previously undetected erroneous payments. Accounting software has built in checks to ensure erroneous payments are not made; however, in our experience they are not constantly evaluated and evolving.

  • Fresh Perspective 

    An outsider’s view is not smothered by familiarity.  When an employee has been exposed to the same type of erroneous payments for a long span of time, they fall into the trap of performing the standard reviews to “identify the usual”. They might be more apt to overlook or ignore ways suppliers have identified ways around system controls to get their invoices paid, occasionally in error.

AP audits and reviews are a core pillar of an accounts payable function, yet too often it is taken for granted as a simple “button push” for report generation and identification. The reality is that the ongoing diligence around this process is imperative for identifying overpayments, duplicate payments and erroneous payments and returning dollars back to your bottom line. This assessment of your program can either validate your environment is well controlled, there are gaps requiring process changes or identify the need to go back to the drawing board. Regardless, Clearview Group is here as your partner to assist.

How Has Clearview Group Added Value to Previous Clients?

Clearview Group’s team has engaged several large market Clients to perform Accounts Payable Recovery Audits over the last several years. Through limited required effort from our Clients, our AP Recovery consultants have been successful in recovering millions of dollars of risk-free, working capital back to their bottom lines.

For more information regarding AP Recovery opportunities, contact Clearview Group at content@cviewllc.com.

More in Contingent Fee Services