Procurement audit within an insurance company
The company is an independent insurance broker that negotiates high-quality and reasonably priced insurance solutions for its customers on the market. With around 1,350 employees, the group is one of the largest brokerage houses in Germany. In order to reveal potential for improvement in indirect procurement, we supported the company in conducting a comprehensive Procurement Audit.
With our support, the management wanted to conduct a special compliance audit in the area of procurement (Procurement Audit) as part of the annual audit.
The aim was to examine whether procurement in general and tenders within the scope of procurement in particular are carried out properly. The investigation covered both the procurement of material resources and the procurement of services. The clients mainly include the divisions EDP and General Administration, but also Personnel, Legal and Public Relations. The audit mandate should also include tenders that can be assigned to a current construction project.
In the overall context, the topic of “handling of gifts by procurers” should also be audited.
Within the scope of the Procurement Audit, the procurement processes were to be analysed with regard to regularity, security, economic efficiency and expediency as well as compliance, and potential for optimization was to be disclosed.
First, the relevant procurement documents and records were defined, obtained and reviewed. We limited ourself to random samples that give a representative picture of procurement practice and are of significant importance (e.g. amount of procurement volume) for procurement and the company. This includes, for example, general procurement documents (spend data, procurement requisitions, specification documents, tender documents, supplier lists, offers, evaluations, procurement orders, order confirmations, ERP data, contracts, supplier invoices, creditor sales, etc.), procurement guidelines and signature regulations documented in writing.
Subsequently, the documents reviewed were checked for plausibility in staff meetings and interviews in order to be able to understand the associated decision-making processes.
Based on the findings, we subsequently prepared a final audit report. In it, concrete strengths, weaknesses and resulting risks were derived and a concrete catalogue of measures was defined.
The analysis provided answers to the following questions
- Are procurement principles/rules defined, which represent the essential guidelines for procurement activities? Are these known to all procurement staff and are they available to them in documented form?
- Are there clearly structured and unambiguous guidelines/rules for dealing with information, external business partners and standards of conduct for procurement (e.g. regarding personal benefits) and are these rules known to all procurement staff?
- Can award decisions be traced back on the basis of documented tender documents, bid evaluations and negotiation minutes?
The procurement of the insurance broker was finally assessed as audit-proof. All necessary control mechanisms are in place at the insurance company to ensure a proper, economic, expedient and compliant procurement process.
Isolated process-related potential for improvement was identified in areas such as demand management, supplier portfolio, negotiation competence, awarding and documentation. These improvement potentials were worked on together in the follow-up to the Procurement Audit and completely eliminated.