FICO is putting its analytics capabilities to work at universities in need of tools to manage their spend when operating with grant money. A new collaboration with Stanford University will see FICO's Falcon Assurance Navigator launch at schools using grant funds to procure and spend, all in the name of compliance.
"University transaction volume has grown too great to assess every transaction with manual staff reviews," said Stanford University Chief Procurement Officer Ben Moreno in a statement on Monday (June 6). "We have high standards that have to be met through a smarter, more efficient solution. We need to protect our eligibility for future grants and our ability to provide a safety net to protect the university against fraud, waste and abuse by putting the right system in place."
Moreno described the new solution as "groundbreaking" and "analytics-based," providing visibility and control to schools that need to remain compliant with grant requirements.
The need to remain compliant falls under recent Circular A-81 rules implemented by the U.S Office of Management and the Budget. The policy, reports said, intends to strengthen oversight of federal funds and aims to reduce fraudulent or wasteful spending.
Auditors are also looking at more sophisticated, data-driven approaches to assess federal spending, reports added.
"This is a big problem," stated FICO Vice President for Product Management Doug Clare. "The federal government distributes $600 billion a year in grant awards to educational institutions, government agencies and other nonprofits."
"Getting grant spend and related expenses right is more than just a cost issue," he continued. "It's also about protecting the reputation of the organization. If not done right, an organization risks losing federal grant money and could find itself on the front page of the newspaper for the wrong reasons."
According to FICO, schools generally manage their grant spending habits by assessing only a sample of their transactions. FICO said that its Falcon Assurance Navigator examines 100 percent of spending, and each transaction is monitored with two types of analytics.