Oil and gas pipeline
Case Study

Outsourced internal audit delivers service and technological efficiencies for electric generation and distribution utility

Baker Tilly delivers efficiency through outsourced internal audit services for electric generation and distribution utility.
Oil and gas pipeline
Case Study

Outsourced internal audit delivers service and technological efficiencies for electric generation and distribution utility

Baker Tilly delivers efficiency through outsourced internal audit services for electric generation and distribution utility.

Client need

A $75 million generation and distribution utility struggled with inefficient business processes that affected its service delivery and use of technology. Faced with needing to improve its operations and financial and technology practices, but not having its own internal audit function, the organization needed to secure outsourced internal audit services.

Baker Tilly solution

Baker Tilly energy internal audit specialists were engaged to assess the utility’s risks and address specific areas through an outsourced audit process. Outsourced internal audit services allow for focused spending of utility budget dollars to meet immediate needs and provide cost savings through greater efficiencies.

Baker Tilly uses a four-step approach in outsourced internal audit engagements. Specifically for this project, our approach included the following steps:

1. Evaluated internal controls and business processes in key operational and financial areas, including:

  • Operations
    - Meter reading
    - Service orders
    - Capital and operational budgeting
    - Crew scheduling
    - Work order construction process
    - Customer service
    - Materials management
  • Financial
    - Purchasing
    - Accounts payable
    - Cash management and accounts receivable
    - Payroll
    - Work order closing
    - Fixed asset accounting
    - Financial reporting
  • Technology
    - Technology governance
    - Use of current systems
    - Gap analysis between current and future state processes
    - Technology controls
    - Use of technology in operations, finance and customer service

2. Established policies and procedures for each of these areas

3. Held workshops and training sessions for utility personnel based on best practices and the analysis of each of the areas above

4. Held a six-month review to determine if the new processes were being used and were effective; this review included further recommendations for changes as well as confirmation on newly established best practices

Results

By outsourcing its internal audit needs, the utility benefited from Baker Tilly’s deep utility industry experience and knowledge of issues faced by peer utilities. The utility received recommendations for optimal industry practices at a fixed project price without having to add to its long-term base cost structure for personnel and benefits.

While this was an extensive project that covered many areas of the utility, this approach can be scaled to meet any budget.

For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly energy specialists can help, contact our team.

Russell A. Hissom
Partner Emeritus, CPA, CIA, CISA, CRMA
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