ACL Success Story – Real Estate – The Westfield Group

2012-06-01

The Westfield Group

Continuous AP monitoring technology identifies duplicate vendor invoices

“ACL has enhanced our team’s reputation as a companywide resource. We are now collaborating with other departments to develop new continuous monitoring routines across the enterprise.”

Byron Enamorado, CPA, CIA, ACDA, , Audit Supervisor, The Westfield Group

 

Company Profile

The Westfield Group operates and has interests in one of the world’s largest shopping center portfolios, including 124 regional centers in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom and Brazil. The global portfolio is valued at more than US$59 billion and represents approximately 25,000 retailers in more than 10.5 million square meters of retail space. With annual revenues of US$3.3 billion worldwide and 1,360 U.S.-based staff, Westfield manages all aspects of shopping centre development, from design and construction through to leasing, management and marketing.

Objectives

Several years ago, the Westfield Group Business Review and Audit (GBR&A) team applied ACL Analytics technology to identify duplicate vendor payments during a three-year period.

The Accounts Payable (AP) department recently asked the GBR&A team to perform follow-up analysis on another nine months worth of vendor data. The analytics discovered and confirmed duplicates – underscoring the company’s ongoing issue with inaccurate payments. The AP team was eager for a solution that could identify and minimise this problem.

Implementation and Planning

Together, the AP department and GBR&A team developed a daily ACL test to identify potential duplicate invoices in the Westfield accounting system. The repeatable analytic would highlight potential duplicate invoices before the payments were issued, and the exceptions were emailed to the AP department for further investigation and resolution.

“Analytics Exchange provides an end-to-end solution for complete audit analysis and issue resolution.”

Byron Enamorado, CPA, CIA, ACDA, , Audit Supervisor, The Westfield Group

Based on the success of this initial collaboration, Westfield recently implemented an end-to-end solution, ACL Analytics Exchange, which provides true continuous monitoring capabilities. Automated analytics run daily to find potential exceptions in AP data files and mitigate the risk of duplicate payments. The solution automatically generates reports and sends them to end users for remediation. Now, the GBR&A team will only intervene if the analytics need adjustment or the AP department requests additional help.

Results

Westfield has used ACL technology to:

  • eliminate the need for third-party AP monitoring services
  • identified potential duplicate invoices
  • provide ongoing cost savings and complete issue resolution

Westfield is saving at least US$60,000 in annual fees. These cost savings are ongoing, as the solution continues to identify duplicates at the invoice level and eliminates the time and resources required to collect erroneous payments.

By working together to minimise the risk of duplicate payments and enhance compliance, the GBR&A team and AP department have developed a strong relationship – and a complete analysis and issue resolution cycle. The GBR&A team has enhanced its reputation as a company-wide resource, and is now collaborating with other departments to develop new continuous monitoring routines across the enterprise.

Next Steps

Westfield is currently developing analytics to capture duplicate payments between purchase cards and AP.

Impact Award Winner

Westfield was named the North American recipient of the 2011 ACL Impact Awards.

Friday, June 1, 2012 In: Client Success Stories, Hot Topics Comments (None)

Contact

Pricing

Demo