We’re often asked to describe some of the things SIUs do to improve performance and enhance their ability to get the most out of their fraud units. Inevitably the conversation turns to management reports and quantifying results. Being able to quantify and evaluate your SIU’s performance is a key to strengthening your department and improving overall outcomes.
When we visit SIUs today we often find some very important and costly employees spending days compiling rudimentary management reports at the end of the month. Sometimes the value of these reports are merely taken for granted, since the process of adding metrics or modifying reports can often be difficult and lengthy, involving MIS hurdles and time consuming meetings. What we find is SIU directors trudging through the monthly reporting period with a dissatisfaction over the data they are getting (or the lack thereof), and a general uneasiness about the reports themselves.
The first step is to imagine there are no barriers to capturing and reporting data. Begin to think about what you and your organization really need to know, what will help you achieve your goals and what will allow you to help develop your staff. Perhaps there are executives and financial personnel in the organization who need return on investment information. Would it be helpful to capture data on outcomes that show the types of savings and costs of investigations? From a personnel development standpoint, how much would it add to your staff reviews and discussions if you could grade each investigation based on the metrics that are important to you? And if you could measure turnaround time on cases, identify steps along the way where bottlenecks occur and quantify varying outcomes based upon the source or type of investigation, would that help you improve your unit?
We’ve been able to work with SIU directors to help improve their reporting and develop the metrics they want to see. We have over 80 standard management reports in the Polonious Case Management System available at the touch of a button, and Polonious users have the ability to modify or create their own reports and distribute them automatically if desired. The reports you’ll need depend upon the types of cases you’re doing and the needs and desires of your organization. Because we’ve automated this process, SIU managers and their staff have been able to reduce their reporting cycles down from several days to only a matter of minutes and have been able to improve the performance of their units through real feedback on important items. Ultimately, this automation and access to data improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the unit. What’s more, being able to demonstrate the value of your unit through these reports can be extremely helpful in getting you the resources you need at budget time.
About the Author
Rick Shepherd, CFE is the president of Polonious Investigation Management Systems USA and has more than 24 years of experience in the investigation industry. Rick specializes in working with clients to incorporate technology into their business and improve their work processes. Rick has been able to help firms implement solutions that improve their results, save money, deliver faster, and improve internal and external client relationships.
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Alastair Steel, Dip.Crim. is the co-founder of Polonious and our investigation subject matter expert.
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Stuart Guthrie is the co-founder of Polonious and our senior technology expert.
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