We do not need to be on site.

It can cost over £600 a week in expenses to keep an auditor on site so it would be much cheaper to carry out our work off site. However cheaper is not necessarily better for the Client.

There are many advantages of being on site:

  • Full visibility of how recoveries are pursued with suppliers and the quality of our staff
  • The auditors can obtain copies of invoices and so they do not trouble your staff with this substantial clerical burden.
  • The auditor can use the Client system to identify subsequent corrections and thereby substantially eliminate spurious requests for repayment to your suppliers.
  • A working rapport can be established between Auditor and Client.
  • The same auditor is responsible and available for questions at any time.
  • We approach suppliers in the name of the Client, avoiding the appearance of a debt collection agency.
  • We use Client headed paper for correspondence, normal Client fax number, Client switchboard and where possible Client email address.

All this is not possible without some presence on site, but to the extent that the Client can provide remote access, we will seek to maximise the amount of work undertaken from our offices if that is a Client preference.

Our auditor requires less than an hour to be introduced to your menus.
After that they are normally available at least once a week for a brief progress review (and we can be more flexible in timing these by working on site).

Other than that there is no reason for our work to have any impact on your staff.
The opposite is true; because we are on site we require much less assistance and are much less likely to approach suppliers needlessly.

We engage qualified staff as the best assurance that our work will be conducted with professional integrity. The remuneration of our auditors is closely linked to our fee structure such that they share the benefit of digging deeper to achieve exceptional results. As a result we believe that auditors take ownership of the Client relationship and for them an assignment is not “just another job for the Company”. Our staff benefits from being especially invited to return at the request of the Client (perhaps within 12 months) and this is a further incentive to develop a good relationship. We are happy to provide the Client with examples of our standard correspondence with suppliers. Although we employ professional persistence to recover money due we are acutely respectful of the need to maintain good supplier relations for the Client with its suppliers. We do not maintain a regulatory reporting structure that requires an auditor to achieve set performance targets. The key responsibilty for the auditor is to present findings directly to the Client in an acceptable manner. Lexona (PGI) Ltd

Lexona is only remunerated in accordance with the agreed fee structure set out in the professional service agreement.

This structure is a percentage applied to value added to the Client balance sheet, either money returned or authorisation to debit. We do ask the Client to undertake associated costs with any mailing on their letterhead and supply use of a phone, fax, Client email address, read only access terminal, data extract and desk.

There are no other costs to the Client. The fee structure is always negotiable but is logically related to a combination of number of transactions, value of spend, industry type, past history and scope.

By the nature of the work, our auditors are rarely examining routine transactions. In most cases there is some complexity in the related transactions and of course, asking for money to be returned is a potentially contentious situation. Lexona thinks that it is essential that the auditor has the diplomacy and experience to manage any situation that might arise.

There is usually a minute residual error rate that is only identifiable from a review of the entire data base of transactions over a period of time. There are few organisations that have not made corrections to transactions processed or received unsolicited refunds and the question is – do these represent all the errors made?
The statutory annual audit normally examines a small sample of transactions and only for the year under review. The Lexona exercise will include every single transaction for up to six years, all examined together at one point in time. Lexona (PGI) Ltd

Some companies do. The trade off is a comparison of the percentage of recoveries payable in fees for the Lexona outsourced function (that is contingent on results and so can be zero) with the internal cost.

The internal cost is in developing software and procedures (that may not be as effective or comprehensive); the cost of free audit resource for a three to six month period (does this exist?) and demands on management resource for an exercise that is not a key objective. If returns are minimal the internal costs are real.

A recovery level substantially below that achievable by Lexona can quickly eliminate any savings and many items become irrecoverable with time.

We are happy to conduct an examination of data from periods already examined by another review to provide a check on results being achieved.

We normally sign a non disclosure agreement with the Client at the outset. Our staff signs confidentiality agreements. We only retain those invoice copies used to support our audit papers and will return or destroy these and electronic data at the conclusion of the audit.
Yes, either by including specific suppliers or areas in the entrance meeting scope letter or during the course of the audit.
Typically two weeks to process off site data followed by six weeks on site. This depends on scope and number of transactions and number of auditors assigned. Lexona should be able to complete even the larger 1 million plus transaction audit within three months if duration were critical.
The value of money recovered varies. Key factors are industry sector, scope of audit, history of Client staff turnover, restructuring and systems and of probably most important, audit quality. It is unlikely that less than one error in ten thousand would be identified. In terms of value this could vary widely within a range of 0.02% to 0.12% of invoices examined.
Lexona is registered as an audit firm for the purposes of the Data Protection Act and would process your data as agent. Lexona processes data in the UK and will not pass data or make data accessible outside the European Zone. Lexona asks for the data extract to exclude employee expenses from scope but would collect sole trader and partnership transactions that would be subject to this legislation.

The scope and method is set out in our standard terms and detailed scope letter. We are happy to vary these with specific measures that you require to meet any concerns not already covered.

The exclusions from scope can be varied in the course of the audit. We offer our standard documentation for corresponding with suppliers for your approval at the outset. Our auditors are on site and so are subject to scrutiny at all times.

We do not operate a call centre and documentation is not removed from your premises for unseen staff to progress.

This site may not have answered questions that are important to you. We are pleased to hold informal and extensive discussion without any commitment by phone, email or at your offices.