We discussed some of the risks regarding fraud and white collar crimes associated within the procurement industry. Let’s take another look at some of the safety measures we can put in place to guard against not only fraud, but also for the continual improvement of purchasing and procurement activities for your business.
Looking at internal controls and how they function will be key. Ensuring that the controls work as intended will help everything run smoothly and accurately. Controls that are easy to avoid or too cumbersome to put into effect will not benefit the business. Check to make sure controls are in place and everyone is using and following them as they should.
One way to ensure that all the necessary controls are in place is to develop a checklist of procedures that should be followed in all situations. By having everyone on the team work together to develop the checklist there is a sense of ownership in helping to bring this to the business. That will also serve to get everyone on board with the new checklist and in that process you may discover new controls are needed.
As you monitor and evauluate it’s not enough to merely look at the results or publish beautiful and official-looking reports on processes. Adjusting is the name of the game. The ability to adjust and make changes is vitally important to the ongoing improvement.
When you read all of the above did you think of monitoring as something to do going forward? If you stop and think that is generally what will be done, but monitoring and evaluation can also be done restrospectively, looking back over the past. As we look forward into 2013 it may not be bad to pause and look back at 2012 and see what we can learn to apply to make our business even better this year.
Further Study: If you want to make a series effort at monitoring and evaluating we have a PDF to recommend. It is published by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations. This document provides 34 different evaluation methods grouped into 7 categories. Not everything will apply to the purchasing department in your business, but you can pick up a few key methods to help improve this year. http://www.ifad.org/evaluation/guide/annexd/Annex_D-3DEF.pdf