Client experience: Preventing construction overpayments

Institutional challenge

A large organization was undertaking major construction projects, including extensive renovations, the addition of a new building, and the expansion of its research institute. The organization wanted to ensure that it had a clear picture of risks associated with undertaking large-scale construction projects and sought an independent audit firm to review the internal controls applied to these projects.

Baker Tilly solution

Our goal was to help the organization avoid unexpected delays, expenses, operational problems, and accounting concerns. We reviewed key construction documents and interviewed project managers, financial personnel, and management team members to understand key risk areas. We then reviewed the design of internal controls and information flows in the high risk areas of contractor and subcontractor procurement and oversight, financial reporting, accounting and project management information flow, close-out processes, change order processes, and information systems. We also assessed the adequacy of documented policies and procedures, the effectiveness of the purchasing process to meet fiduciary requirements, and controls surrounding the construction IT system. 

Results

Management proactively addressed internal control concerns that could have resulted in erroneous payments to contractors and/or management letter comments from the external auditors. Additionally, the institution enhanced its internal monitoring procedures and improved communication and information flow between construction and accounting personnel.

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