Quality and Productivity Database

Descriptive Title of Proposal: Transforming the Corporate Card Audit Function
Year Submitted 2018
Person(s) Responsible for the Idea
Name / Nom Title / Titre
Tracey Ens Director, Procurement
Name of Institution Wilfrid Laurier University
Office Address 202 Regina Street North
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5
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Telephone: 5198840710 x 6455
Email Address: Email hidden; Javascript is required.
Name (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Mary Anne Banks
Title (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Assistant Vice President, Financial Resources
Office Address 202 Regina St. N.
Waterloo, Ontario N2J 3B6
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Telephone: 519-884-0710 ext 2816
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Prior to 2017, Procurement Card auditing was a arduous undertaking at Laurier and was not very effective.  Given the large size of the Corporate Card and Travel Card Programs, Procurement embarked on transforming the entire functionality from staffing to automation of the function to streamline and make it more effective and to mitigate the inherent risk of running a program of over 1400 cards.  Laurier went from a scattered attempt at a 100% compliance audit to an entire revamping of the program to a risk based appreach using Visa Intelligence Compliance Audit as well as developing an internal audit plan to audit all departments in a consistent and complete manner.

Criteria Please submit one paragraph describing how the proposal fulfills each of the evaluation criteria.

The audit program can be undertaken completely, as designed, by any institution running a Scotia Bank Visa Program.  For institutions on other platforms such as USBANK (Visa) and Mastercard, the inhouse portion can be fully utilized.  Some card providers offer similar products to the VISA Intelligence Compliance, although not quite as robust, and could be adapted to the tools available under these card names.  While Laurier hired a CPA with audit experience to help develop and run the program, it may not be necessary, although advisable, to have a person with their designation running the program.  However, most likely a minimum of an accounting diploma or someone working towards their designation would be a definite asset.

Quality Impact

Through the new program we have seen some qualitative gains over our previous system.  This is two years worth of data.  One year pre-program and one year with new system implemented.  November 2016 to November 2018.  

  • On-time submission compliance for researchers: 10% improvement in researchers submitting statements before the deadline
  • On-time submission compliance for non-researchers: 20% improvement in non-researchers submitting statements before the deadline
  • Submission compliance: 20% improvement in statements actually being submitted with new capability to identify overdue statements
  • Visibility of submission compliance: 88% improvement in the number of statements being tracked
  • Quality of submission: 35% improvement in the overall quality of document submission (e.g. correct expense report, all receipts, approval signatures)
  • Non-research statements submitted to Research Finance: 100% reduction in the number of non-research statements submitted to Research Finance


With our new tracking spreadsheet, we now have 100% visibility on all PCard statements and can identify who has submitted their statements, when they submitted them, and any issues that were identified during audits.

Productivity Impact

Productivity has improved both within procurement but tracking for reporting has also seen a time reduction.   Internally in Procurement, while this is still a FTE position, the quality of the data has improved greatly as well as much less time is being spent tracking down non-submissions.  The accuracy of the tracking has improved over 60%.  Risk has been mitigated as the amount of questionable claims has decreased.  Using the VISA tools and our internal processes, we are able to effectively audit higher risk transactions while only spot auditing low risk individuals and transactions.


In many institutions, audit is primarily a compliance based activity and not risk based. Laurier's programs are corporate pay which means the university pays one bill of all transactions before we audit. With individual pay, insitutions have the ability of audit each card but this approach can be problematic, requiring a large number of resources.  Using tools offered by the card merchants as well as designing internal tools, Laurier made the jump to primarily risk based audit.  More and more public sector institutions are seeing card compromises and misuse.  We are now able to target high risk areas and with algorithms utilized in the software programs, determine where focus should be given and only sporadically audit very low risk individuals. The increased scrutiny and oversight has seen large gains in internal compliance to policy, thus even further reducing the need to audit these individuals, and has lowered the number of questionable charges on cards.