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Rockford Case Study - Salford University

Case Study – University of Salford 


Risk Free Accounts Payable Review Without Downside

The requirement

The University of Salford has a turnover of over £200m and 2,500 staff who deliver education to 20,000 students as well as research and consultancy for a variety of government and industrial organisations. The regeneration of Salford is creating new opportunities which bring the university firmly into the 21st Century. The university has a campus alongside the BBC and ITV at the MediaCityUK development in Salford Quays and has ambitious plans to redevelop the existing campus over the next 10 years.

The University commissioned an Accounts Payable Review as a risk-free mechanism to recover any unforeseen overpayments that may have escaped its robust systems and processes. It undertakes regular reviews and promotes good governance by conducting self-checks and utilising the National Fraud Initiative (NFI). Notwithstanding good controls the University is aware overpayments can evade the most robust systems and some suppliers remain indifferent to returning monies.

The review required an in depth and 100% thorough analysis of its Accounts Payable Transactions and Payments. It would help safeguard the University’s Cash Assets whilst internal resources could be focussed on day to day business productivity. The findings of an independent Accounts Payable Recovery provider would be impartial and the motivation to deliver optimum cash recoveries would be sustained and focussed throughout the life cycle of the review.

The solution

Rockford Associates Limited captured an extract of The University Agresso Accounts Payable transaction data. The University had purged any personal and commercially sensitive data. The process was very easy and straight forward requiring no scripting or software development. The data was then speedily uploaded to Rockford’s secure share file site (Rockford is Cyber Essentials Certified) and Rockford produced Accounts Payable Analytics reports by running the data through its bespoke data mining software “Pathfinder”. A senior Recovery Auditor was sent to site to deliver a full end to end review. With access to mail, systems and scanning in place the Auditor identified, verified and recovered a number of overpayments by conducting a seamless statement review whilst concurrently analysing Rockford AP Analytic reports. Service was delivered on site and remotely with minimum disruption to the University Accounts Payable and Finance Teams.

The results

Rockford Associates analysed over 120,000 transactions from the Universities Agresso Finance System. The review identified, verified and recovered 11 exceptions and delivered the University a material four figure cash sum recovery that contributed to safeguarding the University positive cash flow. The review provided the University of Salford with an independent and positive reassurance that 99.99% of transactions were processed correctly by invoice value and 99.99% by invoice volume

“It was a pleasure to work with Rockford Associates Limited. The Auditor was polite, professional and efficient and did not impact our day to day business productivity. An Accounts Payable Review is always a positive experience because the University is not exposed to any costs, risks or downside. It delivered a positive outcome and moreover independently confirmed no systemic errors in our processes. I would positively recommend Rockford’s Account Payable Review to other Education Establishments and Organisations seeking an independent review free of any risk”

Nicola Womack – Head of Accounts Payable, University of Salford

“Rockford has a long history of delivering Accounts Payable Reviews in the North West of England and worked with the University in 2013. This secondary review again independently validated systems and processes are working very well. The University manages an extremely efficient and effective Accounts Payable operation committed to value for money, transparency and good governance. Rockford’s specialist Education Accounts Payable review was delivered via the Procurement Compliant Crown Commercial Services (CCS) Spend Analysis and Recovery Services (SARS 2) RM3820 Framework Agreement”

Ray Dorney – Director, Rockford Associates Limited

Find out more

To find out more and how you would benefit from an audit completed by Rockford Associates, or if you would like to see more case studies of how we have assisted other organisations please see our contact details below.


Rockford Associates Limited
Aston Court
Kingsmead Business Park
High Wycombe
HP11 1LA

Telephone :    07732 294810

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