By Cathy Leal, Partner Business Executive, State Controller’s Office
The FI$Cal system provides a steady array of benefits to departments that allow them to improve their effectiveness and efficiencies. For the State Controller’s Office, Division of Audits, the FI$Cal system has provided some of these benefits as well.
The State Controller’s Office (SCO) is responsible for auditing all funds disbursed by the state and all claims presented for payment to SCO. Auditing claims through the FI$Cal system has offered several benefits to help with the storage, transparency, access and processing of claims.
One of these benefits is the ability to audit vouchers remotely with all supporting documents contained electronically, and the ability to act on vouchers with the click of a button. Multiple viewers can review and discuss a voucher from different locations at the same time. That means users and auditors don’t have to exchange emails. Instead, they can look at a voucher, an attachment or documentation, and can open the same information simultaneously. This has helped process department requests and facilitated shorter turnaround times for required corrections to vouchers.
The FI$Cal system also enables research to be done quickly, because vouchers – whether pending or paid – can easily be retrieved. Data can be extracted for analysis of trends that may indicate issues, and mitigating controls can be developed.
The FI$Cal system also helps facilitate analytics that can be performed regarding how fast vouchers are getting approved by departments and the SCO, how fast payments are going out the door, and how fast payments are being cashed. These metrics allow for review, assessment, and progress towards continuous improvement.
SCO Audits also uses a tool in the system that includes filters and queries that assist in automatic validation of certain attributes and routing of vouchers that meet certain criteria. This ensures that claims have gone through the appropriate review and approval process, and that such actions are documented.
These system tools help users ensure that claims are following proper procedures and protocols, The FI$Cal system is automated in many ways, including the Pre-Payment Audit Tool’s ability to validate certain attributes of a claim and route it for further audit review. That saves valuable time for users and auditors and helps to eliminate any guesswork and manual error. Approvals from auditors and departments are captured, so accountability and transparency are ensured.
David Chehak, Bureau Chief, SCO Division of Audits, contributed to this article.