Oxygen Finance

Reclaiming Cash: The Value of Recovery Audits for Councils

In today’s increasingly regulated and automated public sector, councils face mounting pressures to improve their Accounts Payable (AP) processes and guard against financial discrepancies such as duplicate payments, fraud, and other errors that place much-needed funds at risk.

Recognising this need, we partnered with Fiscal Technologies in 2022 to provide Recovery Audits enabling our clients to reclaim cash and even in this short period we’ve had some fantastic results.

“We’ve completed four audits to date, with over £1.5m identified and recovered for clients so far. We’re implementing more projects now, and we can’t wait to get these lost funds back into the hands of the Councils.”
Stuart Nichols, Director of Client Engagement, Oxygen Finance


The Need for Recovery Audits

Maintaining financial integrity is paramount and many of you will already be using Fiscal Software to prevent potential overpayments, but changes in your finance department, whether from ERP migrations, end-of-year ledger tidying, or managing finances as councils merge, can disrupt transactions and introduce errors.

Oxygen Finance work in partnership with Fiscal Technologies to deliver the Audits. We chose Fiscal as they are the leading provider of forensic solutions enabling purchase to pay teams to protect organisational spend, safeguarding hundreds of millions of transactions, and already work with over 90 councils in the UK. The Recovery Audit doesn’t just focus on duplicate payments, as many providers do, but focuses on a variety of anomalies that may be present, including incorrect VAT plus Statement reconciliations.


Realising Savings Quickly

Our recovery audit services are quick to implement and typically deliver savings within 90 days. There’s no monetary investment needed and there’s minimal demand on your team.

We audit the last 5 years of your transactional data, identifying and verifying duplicates, overpayments, and potential fraud. We check every transaction to find all discrepancies in your data and all historical overpayments, and then work on your behalf to recover these funds from your suppliers.

Even those using preventative software have found a recovery audit to be worthwhile, as Sean Torpey, Accounts Payable Manager, Finance and Commercial Services, at Sheffield City Council explains:

“We already use preventative software which has successfully prevented a high value of potential overpayments, so we were unsure that a Recovery Audit would generate savings. We decided to proceed to act as an additional control check, ensure that any lost Council funds were recovered, and because the cost is directly linked to the value recovered it was risk-free. Thankfully, the effort from our side was minimal and the value of funds recovered provided a worthy return.”


A Risk-Free Opportunity

Our gain share model means there’s no upfront cost—it’s fully contingent on the savings delivered. Plus, you’ll relieve your AP team from manual checks, freeing up time for other projects.
There’s nothing to lose but the recovered funds could make a significant difference to squeezed budgets.

Kay Elliot, Accounts Payable Manager at Northumberland County Council, said:

“We already had some in-house procedures and software in place for identifying duplicate payments, but this was not as robust as we would have liked. We were keen to improve our processes and found it beneficial to check and cleanse our old data before implementing any process changes. Fiscal staff were friendly, helpful, and kept us informed throughout the process. The ease of the process and the value of funds recovered prompted us to purchase the Fiscal Audit software.”

When it comes to working with Oxygen and the resource required, Maggie Burns, Senior Financial Accountant at Middlesbrough Council, added:

“It has been a pleasure working with the team. The team have answered all my queries and made the process efficient with less resources needed from our side than we expected.”


Arrange your Recovery Audit 

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to reclaim funds and strengthen your financial processes. If you’re interested in learning more, email us at info@oxygen-finance.com or contact your existing Oxygen Client Success Manager. Let us help you uncover the hidden value in your financial data.

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