Improving the Effectiveness of Your Claims Auditing Process

Local Government Management Guide

What Is a Claim?

Basically, a claim is a demand presented for the payment of money due for goods that have been delivered or services that have been provided. A claim generally must be in writing and can be in any reasonable form prescribed by the local government or school district, so long as it is properly itemized and provides all the information, including supporting documentation, required for audit. Using a standard claim form as a cover sheet is desirable because required information is presented in a uniform and organized manner.

Vendors who frequently do business with a local government or school district can be given a supply of acceptable standard claim forms. Others should be given the forms when orders are placed.

Many businesses use standard invoices, bills, statements and other forms for billing customers. Your local government or school district generally may choose to accept a claim presented on a company form that sufficiently itemizes the items purchased or services provided and otherwise contains all the necessary information for audit and processing for payment. This may be accomplished by simply attaching the company billing documents to your claim form, numbering the form in consecutive order and completing other required information, such as the fund to be charged and appropriation codes. Such a process also provides consistency in processing and subsequent filing of claims as public records. The combination of original invoices, receiving slips, other relevant documentation and the standard claim form (as a cover sheet) is commonly referred to as the voucher or claim package.