For well over ten years, experts from numerous different branches of industry have been saying that humankind has entered a fourth industrial revolution. After coal, gas, and electricity taking over the globe in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, respectively, we are now living in an age where information technologies and renewable energy are dominating our daily lives. Thanks to the internet and the widespread use of once unimaginable things like artificial intelligence and modern gadgets, a lot of what was once done a certain way can be improved and modernized.
Technology is rapidly improving, faster than ever, and it is often difficult to keep up with the changes and stay up to date continuously. However, we have to do our best because otherwise we would be overtaken by the competition and not be doing the most. No matter what branch of industry you are a part of, there will be a certain new change coming every once in a while and a better and more efficient way to do your everyday tasks. This is particularly true in finances and business where the people rely heavily on various systems and processes that are changing as new tech is introduced.
For the purposes of this article, we are going to be focusing on a specific part of business and dealing with the economic side of it, the post-audit claim process. It is something worth knowing about and definitely a thing not enough people know how to deal with. Moreover, we are going to talk about how technology influences and improves these processes. They can help if you wish to know more about post-audit claims especially if you are involved in the food and packaged consumer goods industries.
What is a Post Audit Claim?
Despite being present in everyday conversation from time to time and you hearing about them, there is a good chance you have no idea what a post-audit claim actually is and what kind of a process it implies. It is actually a payment demand that is made by a company that deals with them and it involves overpayments and credit claims that have been owed for some time but never actually issued. There are certain factors that influence the need or the type of audit examination, mainly the size of the contract thought to be breached, the type of services delivered, and the number of contracts in existence.
An audit on the other hand is any type of examination of the financial or bookkeeping, or accounting records or systems. It can tell how compliant a business was with the policies, laws, regulations, and procedures regarding taxes and any other sort of payments and financial aspects of doing business and running a company. Post audits are performed on request and there are different goals it achieves. Most of the time, it examines whether or not certain claimed costs are allowable, allocable, reasonable, in compliance with federal and state laws, and in accordance with the language in contracts.
Ways Technology is Changing Audits
So what about modern technology and how does it change and improve the practice of post-audit claims?
1. Data Analytics
First and foremost, data analytics has really transformed the way in which audits are being conducted. Since it is able to give the auditors a chance to move away from small samples of data and actually using larger or even complete datasets and records, everything is much more thorough and therefore precise. No longer are those doing this task limited to only a part of the whole picture, as the digital world gives companies a chance to have every single expense reviewed and inspected at next to no extra cost. Data analytics is also a powerful weapon in finding fraud through detailed, top-down analytical checks.
2. Smarter Databases
Even though there is a way to analyze data faster, better, and more efficiently, it is still a nightmare to do so if the business at hand does not pay too much attention to their database and how they organize it. High-quality audits rely on high-quality data sets, and companies have started to make sure their storages are neatly organized and always updated. Extracting data can be bothersome because literally any information about any expense may be exactly what you need. Getting to it is in a timely manner is prevalent so there should be a wat to do so. What you get out is only as good as what you had put in previously. Technology helps here a lot with modern database solutions and systems.
3. Artificial Intelligence
As with most other sectors of numerous businesses, artificial intelligence (AI) has been of great use in the recent years. Things being smarter is not enough. They need to also learn and improve on their own based on the things happening in the system, without the constant interference from humans. AI is said to be the next big thing for audits and everything around them. It is of the greatest use in unstructured data that is hard to keep in a database or even gather. Such data implies emails, social media activity, conference calls, and anything else that is difficult to track down, collect, or prevent from being deleted. Finding fraud is difficult enough, let alone with the new means people stay in touch and give or receive information. AI and algorithms they are based on can use logic other technology cannot and examine the validity of information in accounting.
4. Robotic Process Automation
Automation of everything is the logical step forward for our society. Giving robots and artificial workers all the work they can get frees us humans to do more intellectual work and engage in things machines and technology cannot. Robotic process automation can be used to complete audit-ready paperwork and technicalities that take up too much time. Even drones could be useful to reach distant and remote locations and analyze inventories and databases there without an actual human on the location. Combined with everything else mentioned above, it would be an amazing new system in which post audit claim processes would be much more efficient, faster, and easier.