Problem Definition :
A manufacturing company based in India, was facing uncertainity in its business due to accounting errors and limited knowledge in forecasting its future business due to absence of any statistical or analytical tools. The client approached Align Associate to come up with a solution for better risk management in their business.

Approach :
Align Associate’s knowledge of business standards, best practices, key performance metrics were used to assess the problem. A team of experts from finance, operations, and sector specific experts were drawn to research & identify the root cause of the problem.

From the research, it was found out that the root cause of the problem was primarily due to inability of the internal auditors of the company to audit and check accounting errors on a real time basis. It was observed that identification of fraudulent accounting transactions and other accounting errors were done only at the end of every business quarter and not on a regular basis. This way, the client was exposed to huge financial risks that could negatively impact their future business if proper risk management practices were not put in place.

Team members at Align Associate had to spend sufficient time to assess the problem in detail. It was found out that multiple accounting errors such as over purchases, duplicate payments, non verified transactions, payment rate mismatches, purchased items actually not required for business were overlooked during the client’s existing internal audit process controls thereby increasing their overall costs. Once identified Align Associate worked towards putting in a comprehensive solution.

Solution:
To address this issue, Align Associate had recommended the client to utilize its proprietary governance, risk and compliance tool – “AuditBots” which runs on ERP Systems such as SAP and Oracle, for real time monitoring of accounting transactions.
Various risk libraries were created for different type of accounting risks. An algorithm was created for every risk library and these algorithms were run across millions of accounting transactions on a real time basis to analyse data and spot patterns. If there were any exceptions, the system would identify and throw errors.

AuditBots tool was adopted by the client after realizing its numerous advantages. The client was able to closely monitor accounting transactions on a real time basis using AuditBots tool.

Challenges  Faced :
Accounting frauds can bring down a company into disrepute and in worst cases, companies can even go bankrupt due to lack of faith among key valuable clients thereby resulting in loss of reputation and business. The client wanted to uphold its corporate image by following ethical business practices and values, and wanted to avoid this unexpected situation at all costs.

This prompted team members at Align Associate to identify all the accounting risks from all angles which could occur in their business and take necessary measures to prevent these errors for better risk management in future. They had to deep dive into the data and through sophisticated data analytic tools, identify multiple ways in which the company can be defrauded which was an extremely challenging task and required high intellectual and business acumen.

Further, team members at Align Associate, initially using the client’s existing internal audit controls, took painstaking efforts to check millions of accounting transactions, which was a time consuming process for spotting various accounting errors.

Extreme attention to detail was required to identify ghost employees, cash leakages and dummy vendors.

They had to literally put themselves into the fraudsters shoes and have a keen eye to identify fraudulent accounting transactions and expose malpractices of fraudsters. These claims need to be valid and proved in order to coerce and remove fraudsters from the company by making them admit to their mistakes.

Benefits:
The client realized the importance of better risk management using AuditBots on a real time basis. Business derived significant benefits with the help of AuditBots include:
• Prevention of Accounting Errors on a real time basis
• Reduction in Internal Audit process time using stringent financial controls
• Reduction of costs by avoiding undesirable expenditure
• Improvement in financial results
• Increase in bottom line performance
• Tackle segregation of duties issue where multiple internal company employees conspire and collude
together in committing accounting frauds.
• Identify ghost employees, cash leakages and dummy vendors
• Plugs all loopholes to override control procedures designed to check fraud.
Please contact Align Associate for exploring possibilities of providing your organization similar support.


Align Associate
Old No.9,New No.12,
18th Avenue, Ashok Nagar
Chennai – 600083, Tamil Nadu, India


Problem Definition :
A major Retailer was facing issues with customer engagement and low sales. The sales did not match the footfall recorded by the retailer and there was no mechanism to track the customer satisfaction. The client approached Align Associate to come up with a solution to overcome the problem.

Approach :
Align Associate’s knowledge of business standards, best practices, key performance metrics were used to assess the problem. A team of experts drawn from finance, operation, and sales were vested with the task to research & identify the root cause of the problem.

From the research, it was found out that the root cause of the problem was primarily due to lack of effective customer tracking mechanisms and absence of proper strategy to maintain customer relationship. The company had bare minimal knowledge about the exact data pertaining to the number of walk in’s entering the retail outlet, number of actual customers, ratio of walk-in to sales conversion rate, product preference of the customers and the reasons for purchasing the product.

Team members at Align Associate had spent sufficient time to assess the problem in detail. They analysed the CCTV footage of the Retail outlet for the last one month to find out the exact number of walk in’s and recorded the observation. This value was compared with the existing Customer Relationship Executive (CRE) report day-wise, week-wise and month-wise. The values didn’t match in any of the above mentioned scenarios and significant discrepancies were noticed in both the values.  The CRE report which collated data about the walk in’s from the security guard as well as the overall counters in the retail store was found to be misleading. Once identified Align Associate worked towards putting in a comprehensive solution.

Solution:
To address this issue, Align Associate had recommended the client to implement Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System in order to analyse customer data and improve customer relationship. Customer Tracking process was streamlined effectively to a simple procedure and closely monitored by team members of Align Associate. The procedure used for customer tracking was as follows :

  • Feedback form from potential (walk-in’s) and actual customers was collected during their exit by the security and counter billing stage respectively
  • With the help of this feedback at the end of 6 months, data pertaining to the number of walk-in’s per day, hour, week could be easily retrieved. Also the salesmen most actively involved with customers, and maximum time spent on a product category as well as the counter most visited by the customer could be identified.
  • The feedback provided extensive clarity on walk-in’s and the reasons why they were not purchasing products at the client’s retail store. The reasons were categorised to multiple issues like product quality, design, staff behavior, shopping experience, price, product non availability and customer satisfaction.
  • Further deep analysis was carried out to determine   when the customer conversion rates was highest, and  on which day, hour or month as well as across which product category. High performing Salesmen involved with maximum customer conversion rates were identified.
  • Various Walk in, customer Key performance Indicators (KPI) were set for all the salesman and managers to maximise their capability and efficiency. Employee Scorecards were generated for the entire staff and monitored regularly.
  • Surprise Audits were also carried out to check the accuracy between the CRE report and CCTV data.
 Jewellery shop Footfall analytics

                   Jewellery shop Footfall analytics

Analytics integrated CRM System was adopted by the client after realizing its numerous advantages. The client was able to closely monitor and review customer conversion rates, sales performance,  employee performance rating on a regular basis with ease using CRM System.

Challenges  Faced :
The Salesmen at the retail store had to be convinced about the Align Associate’s procedure of customer tracking using CCTV as they were opposed to the idea initially and felt that it was not a proper method to judge their performance and their way in dealing with customers may be minutely scrutinised.

Further, team members at Align Associate took painstaking efforts to carry out the in-depth historical data analysis from CCTV footage and feedback forms and gather various useful insights for the client.

Benefits:
The client, after initial hesitation, realized the importance of Analytics integrated CRM System. Business derived significant benefits with the help of CRM System include:
• Walk-in clarity levels increased to 95% accuracy
• Increase in Customer conversion rates from 50% to 75%
• Improvement in Customer Service levels
• Increase in Employee Productivity
• Better Sales Performance
• Enhanced quality in shopping experience
Please contact Align Associate for exploring possibilities of providing your organization similar support.


Align Associate
Old No.9,New No.12,
18th Avenue, Ashok Nagar
Chennai – 600083, Tamil Nadu, India