Extinction Alert: County Financial Operations without Digitization

County finance managers and elected officials do their best to oversee programs that serve their citizens. While recent government funding sources have provided much-needed relief, they also have generated increased reporting as to how and when those dollars were used. Without digitized financial operations, county finance teams and programs are on the brink of burnout and obsolescence. That’s where “tools like AI drive increased productivity as well as enable rapid compliance with continuing emerging regulatory issues and so forth in a time when finance departments are not growing in size,” shared Chris Juneau of Oversight, in a recent podcast.

 

Robots vs dinosaurs: Who’s better at fraud and error detection?

Even the strongest manual auditing programs can’t catch fraud or accidental reporting errors at the same consistency and granularity that tools supported by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can. The 2022 ACFE Anti-Fraud Technology Benchmarking Report shared that “the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in anti-fraud programs is expected to more than double over the next two years.” Once leaders have clarity around patterns of fraud or errors, they can guide county finance teams to a secure and productive financial environment. This doesn’t mean anyone will be handing authority over financial operations or its analysis over to robots and then running budgets on autopilot! 

County leaders can best support their teams with machine learning assistance by identifying key risk areas to monitor for potential fraud. Potential data sources to look for fraud analytics are:

  • exception reporting
  • policy violations
  • predictive analytics
  • geographic data mining
  • transaction analysis
  • sentiment analysis

An ACFE report indicated that 21% of state government agencies reported a median of $91,000 in fraud losses in 2020 an 32% of local government entities reported a media of $75,000 in fraud losses.

Once counties can identify patterns of errors or fraud, they can focus their efforts to correct these areas, rather than constantly fighting to stay on top of monitoring every single area of spending.

 

Constant evolution: Risk and compliance

Regularly assessing your county’s level of operational resilience in preparation for the next disruption has become fundamental. To stay agile, county leaders can mitigate financial risk with tools that provide real-time analysis and optimized workflows in a way that protects financial information from being hacked or misused. Hybrid and remote work environments are also becoming the norm, causing county operations to move away from on-premise platforms to managing spend in the cloud.

Without digitization, mobile applications, and cloud technologies in place to support hundreds of remote workers, it’s impossible to maintain “business as usual” for constituencies and taxpayers. Now is the time to digitize your county’s financial operations – before you go extinct!

Learn more about transforming your county’s financial operations with SAP Concur solutions today.

 

Resources to Leverage

To learn more about how to digitize your county’s financial operations, visit SAP Concur partner page at the National Association of Counties.

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