As I sat in the doctor’s waiting room the other day and being the Government Pricing (GP) Geek that I am, I started thinking about how similar Doctor Visits are to GP Audits. At first glance, these two things don’t seem to have much in common, beyond the facts that neither are very pleasant and that both are necessary. However, as you look a little closer you start to see several more similarities between the two. I’ll try to explain the similarities by answering these three questions – Why?, When? and How?
Generally, we go to the doctor for a checkup to ensure that we are healthy, or we go when we are not feeling well to see what is wrong. GP Audits are very similar in that we do audits to ensure that our GP processes are functioning correctly and that our GP calculations are “healthy.” We also do them when we suspect that there might be a problem and want to see how “sick” our calculations are.
As children we start seeing the pediatrician at a very young age for well baby checks. These visits then taper off to regularly scheduled checkups as we grow up. These checkups correspond to audits conducted at the very beginning of our GP program to ensure that we are starting our program off as healthy as possible and to regularly scheduled audits during the life of the GP program to ensure that the program and resulting calculations remain healthy.
We have all heard the disclaimer statements telling us to see our doctor before beginning any new exercise or diet programs. This is an excellent concept to carry over to our GP program as well. As we start something new in our GP program, whether it be a new calculation or automation methodology, it a great idea to conduct an audit before going live to make sure that our GP program is healthy and not “rejecting” the new components.
Now that we have an understanding of how the “Why” and “When” of doctor’s visits and GP Audits are similar, let’s compare the “How” by looking at some of the individual steps. The following tables breakdown the steps of an audit and a checkup and compare them to each other.