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Using Technology to Be a Strong Steward of Public Funds

Aaron Teague
Jul 9, 2015 8:41:25 PM

In the public sector, there is a strong argument to be made that the number one job of all employees- at all levels- is to be a good steward of public funds. Public sector entities are entrusted with tax dollars, bond funds, capitol investments and real property with full faith from the public that the best use will be made of these resources within the communities served.

But what does it mean to be a good steward with the investments entrusted to you by the public? Is it solely the protection of funds and property from fraud and theft? While protecting the investments from such things is definitely a key component, it is not the only consideration. You must also make sure that the funds are used in the most efficient way possible. That means constantly monitoring processes for new operational efficiencies and executing them as soon as possible.

Technology can be a huge boon to protecting and being a strong steward of the funds entrusted to you by the public. In my experience of over 17 years working with the public sector, I have seen many effective ways used. Not just to protect the investments, but also to make the most of what you have. Here are some notable ways:

Stop the bleeding! Theft, fraud and misuse of funds and assets are a huge drain on the public coffers. There are technology solutions to track your assets, know who is using those assets, and for what purposes. This is everything from GPS on cars and computers, all the way though keycards and codes on copying machines. There are also technology solutions to detect and prevent fraud on expense reports, invoices, and credit cards. A small investment in such solutions can do a lot to make sure the public funds are not just walking out the front door.

Lock it up! Physical locks were some of the first technology solutions used to protect funds and assets. They are still one of the most effective things you can use. Lock your doors, secure the computers, lock up the check stock, and make sure there are passwords on systems. It seems common sense, but you would be surprised how many locks are unused.

Work Smarter! The great promise of technology is to make our lives easier- and it does. What effective technology solutions can bring you as a steward of public funds is streamlining processes. Technology can reduce the workload in several areas, and cut cycle time in many business processes. Cutting workload means employees are happier, and spend their time doing their core jobs. Happier and more productive employees means lower turnover, less absenteeism and more gets done with the public's investment. Cycle time reductions don’t just mean things get done faster and with less investment of public funds. It can actually turn traditional 'overhead' areas into revenue streams. For example, Accounts Payable departments realize discounts on invoices through early payment discounts. Cutting down the cycle time on invoices have, in some of our customers’ experience, realized over $500,000 in discounts in a single year just by using technology to automate the AP department.

The public sector has many challenges. Technology solutions can take some of that load off of your shoulders- from protecting from Fraud and theft, all the way through making processes more efficient and cost effective. To help you be a strong steward of public funds, you need to know what is available to you, how to identify your organization’s specific needs, and how to implement the solutions effectively.

Ascend Software offers a comprehensive suite of technology solutions designed to help public and private sector organizations reduce costs and create efficiencies! Contact us today and discover how our business automation solutions can help your organization streamline workflows and protect valuable assets!

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