“This project has shown that we can work collaboratively with other parts of the business to achieve an effective and improved internal controls framework. This has brought about much education in risk and control, and there is a real appetite to roll it out to the rest of the business.”
Brad Pye, Internal Audit Manager
Energex is the main electricity provider for more than a million residential, industrial and commercial customers in South East Queensland, Australia.
As part of its business process, the internal audit team used data analysis software to assess their accounts payable and payroll data quarterly, which—according to Energex’s Internal Audit Manager Brad Pye—highlighted gaps in the control environment.
To identify other potential gaps and capitalize on the value of comprehensive analysis of transactional data, Energex took the challenge—and opportunity—to adopt a continuous monitoring solution for its internal controls.
Energex selected CaseWare Monitor (now Alessa) to continuously monitor its accounts payable and procurement data. The company worked with consultants from Satori Group, a distributor in Australia and New Zealand, as well as SPARQ, a third-party IT services provider.
The solution continuously reviews large volumes of accounts payable and procurement transactions and identifies any possible incidents of fraud; provides continuous assurance of internal controls; verifies the integrity of financial transactions; and ensures conformance to different legislative and compliance requirements.
Any anomalies are directed to the appropriate business personnel for review and resolution—before they have a negative impact on the organization.
Within two months of implementing Energex discovered nearly $100,000 in potentially erroneous payments. Not only did the solution have an immediate return on investment, but according to Brad, “the project delivered everything it was supposed to, and hit all the timeline milestones while coming in under budget.”
The effectiveness of the solution generated excitement within Energex, and the company is planning to integrate the solution into the accounts receivable and payroll functions.