Case study

Local council recovers over £180,000 with spend recovery audit

Worcestershire County Council used the Crown Commercial Service spend analysis agreement to help them recover over £180,000.

computer and desk with financial spreadsheet on screen

The customer

Worcestershire County Council, like all other councils, is operating in a difficult climate with reducing budgets and increased demand for many of its services. Having undertaken a spend recovery audit of their accounts payable some years ago, the council felt it was the right time to commission a further review to identify and recover any overpayments to suppliers and provide advice on improving their current processes.

The scope of the project included a detailed examination of all expenditure with third parties since April 2008, to identify duplicate payments, overpayments, credit notes not processed and unclaimed VAT.

The solution

The council wanted to appoint an experienced supplier to undertake the project and had 4 objectives in mind:

  1. minimal impact on the day-to-day routine of the accounts payable team within the council
  2. maximise recoveries
  3. all communications with staff and suppliers would be handled with complete professionalism
  4. the project would be undertaken on a ‘performance-related’ basis

The council carefully considered their requirements and decided to use the Crown Commercial Service Spend Analysis and Recovery Services (RM1037) agreement to appoint purchase ledger review specialist, Meridian V4 Services via a direct award.

The results

“We are very pleased with the manner in which the entire project has been undertaken. Engagement was made simple by use of the direct award facility available under the Spend Analysis and Recovery Services agreement, which was completed using a straightforward call-off form. The data extract process and recovery phase called for significantly less staff time and resource than we anticipated. Recoveries of duplicate payments were lower than expected, as a consequence of our use of specialist pre-payment checking software. However, Meridian added significant value to overall recoveries by their detailed analysis of statements and complex supplier accounts. Meridian’s account manager communicated with our staff and suppliers in an entirely professional manner. We would be happy to engage Meridian for a further audit and would recommend them to other councils considering recovery audit.”

Ruth Minors, Accounts Payable Officer, Worcestershire County Council

Get involved

To find out more about the Spend Analysis and Recovery Services agreement (RM1037) and how it can help you identify savings:

Visit the Spend Analysis and Recovery Services web page

Email the team at

Call us on 0345 410 2222.

Published 4 August 2016