Buying in services? The right to audit can prove invaluable.

One of the trickiest issues for any business is to make sure that you’re getting value for money when buying in a service. 

Of course, you hope that your tendering and negotiation process is up to scratch and that you’ve defined your requirements very carefully at the outset. The precise scope of the contract and its terms are vitally important too. 

But what about contract compliance when work is actually under way? This is where many businesses fall down. You raise purchase orders and, provided the invoicing matches up, no one raises much of an eyebrow. 

If something goes wrong, you might suddenly realise the importance of audit rights. It’s reasonable to argue, however, that these should be built in from the outset as a way of encouraging collaboration, accountability and continuous improvement. Contract compliance and audit actually go hand in hand. 

A little investment of time and understanding can produce big dividends. After all, think of your personal spending decisions. If you bought a new kitchen, for example, would you be happy just to agree the specification and the price? Or would you be keen to spend time checking the work was being done correctly and that you were getting value for money?