Last week, I sat down with Colin Rigby, Head of Strategic Alliances and Channel at FISCAL Technologies, where we discussed AP Forensics, the Risk review process and the value this brings when considering migrating or upgrading solutions. Below, you can read part of the conversation we recently had and next week, our discussion will be continued in a second blog.
ML – Tell us a little bit about FISCAL Technologies.
CR – FISCAL Technologies has a 13-year history of providing Accounts Payable forensic software with a global reach and an extensive portfolio of notable clients across all market sectors. FISCAL’s AP Forensics® suite has a strong track record of providing immediate return on investment and the company has received several awards, among these a Queen’s Award for Enterprise Innovation granted in June 2016.
The AP Forensics® Cloud solution is a suite of powerful analytic tools designed for regular proactive use by finance professionals to prevent invoicing errors, protect working capital, detect fraud, drive process improvement and strengthen compliance. The suite is comprised of 5 integrated modules: Transactions, Suppliers, Fraud, Constant Monitoring and Reports.
ML – FISCAL Technologies is achieving double digit growth year on year, what are the contributing factors in the market that are aiding this specular growth?
CR - Developments in P2P have significantly increased transactional complexity and automation has heightened processing velocity. Greatly increased processing velocity raises concerns around lack of control which results in the focus shifting to query resolution. AP Forensics® sits comfortably alongside AP automation by enabling continuous auditing of transactional activity.
There are now a multitude of ways that transactions find their way onto the ledger e.g. manual input, scanning & OCR, e-invoicing, EDI, supplier portals, feeders etc. This increased complexity creates greater risk.
There are a number of other risk factors at play, these include:
- Supplier pressure to pay: increased pressure on AP departments to pay more quickly than before
- New systems and upgrades: vulnerability is heightened during any significant period of transition
- Decreased resources: AP teams are running leaner but maintaining or increasing workload
- Supplier fraud: the incidence of attempted fraud has never been higher
The traditional approach of retrospective auditing is resource intensive and is ineffective in terms of risk mitigation. In contrast, AP Forensics® enables a comprehensive preventative approach delivering actionable insight whilst releasing resources to drive process improvement.
All ERP systems perform a duplicate check upon invoice entry – namely checking the master supplier file reference and the invoice number across two transactions. However, this check is not failsafe; duplicated supplier accounts, input errors, multiple company codes and forced entries can still result in duplicate payments.
Visibility around P2P is often hindered due to fragmented reporting. AP Forensics® provides consolidated, highly focused and predefined reporting via a user-friendly interface.
ML – Who would use your solution, AP Forensics?
ML – FISCAL Technologies has an interesting offer of potential clients; can you tell us more about the transaction risk review?
CR – Certainly, optimising today’s operational finance function can significantly reduce costs, minimise risk, protect working capital and improve cash flow forecasting. The challenges to doing this are considerable, however: how to maximise cash flow and improve liquidity whilst paying suppliers promptly; how to increase the velocity of invoice processing whilst maintaining strong governance, compliance and risk mitigation practices; and how to ensure visibility and measure performance against KPIs despite heightened processing complexity, for example. Senior finance professionals often struggle to get the visibility and insight they need in order to drive operational excellence and implement effective governance and risk management controls. FISCAL’s Transactional Finance Risk Review provides an independent overview of the integrity of your organisation’s spend, processes and controls. The resulting detailed report will deliver valuable insight and analysis including a list of your highest risk suppliers, samples of overpayments that may have evaded existing controls and recommendations for process Improvements. Your data will be handled according to ISO27001 security standards, with confidentiality governed by a mutual NDA.
ML – OK but what benefits would organisation receive from conducting such a review?
CR – In many respects it is proving AP Forensics worth prior to payment, the risk review is undertaken without any obligation to purchase the solution so from an organisation review you can expect to receive actionable benefits around your company data along the lines of:
High Risk Transactions Profile, a selection of high risk transactions that may have evaded existing controls will be highlighted for investigation and recovery ranked by risk severity.
High Risk Supplier Ranking – 14 counter fraud checks will identify any suspect supplier, ranked according to risk severity.
Actionable Insight, the comprehensive exercise will spotlight any vulnerabilities and risks which arise in your operation finance to enable immediate corrective action.
Working Capital Threat Assessment, the solutions algorithms provide a detailed, objective assessment of primary threats to your organisations working capital and integrity of your controls and processes.
ML – So this is completely free and without any obligation to purchase?
CR – That’s correct, we would encourage your clients to take advantage of this offer.
If you are interested in and would like to know more about anything discussed in this blog, please contact us here.
Look out for next week's blog where the conversation will continue...