Monday, September 8, 2008

Expense Management becoming Mainstream?

We've been talking about using Continuous Auditing and Continuous Monitoring as ways to improve compliance and business performance for more than two years. The approach is characterized as "ask once, satisfy many," where business process owners can satisfy compliance objectives such as segregation of duties or spending authority limits, while also evaluating operational objectives like contract compliance and pricing.

CFO Magazine's September issue is highlighting some of the technologies that can accomplish these objectives.

The CFO article is very consistent with our experiences. Clients and business partners of Visual Risk IQ know that we can help review Accounts Payable, P-Card, and T&E data, looking for duplicate payments, financial fraud, and contract compliance. In the last several months, we've been expanding our service capabilities to deliver even more value for our clients.

My favorite quote in the article talks about the costs for such services. "For $50,000 to $100,000, a horde of consultants will sift through invoices, purchase orders, and contracts and produce a report, most likely on one facet of the business. Or, for $100,000 to $500,000, you can tap software that will do it for all aspects of the business all the time." People familiar with Visual Risk IQ know that our firm uses the continuous auditing software described in the article, to help organizations test-drive and prove its value for their organization, for less than the typical fees from the "horde of consultants."

The data files that we already use to provide a 100%, in-depth review of expenses for compliance and potential fraud factors can also be used to test for spending compliance. We have partnered with firms who are expert in selling and general & administrative cost reduction, and can analyze these same data files to identify the opportunities for improving expense management.

Joe Oringel
Visual Risk IQ
Charlotte NC, USA