Previous insights into the digital transformation of grant management software explored why modernising grant management is a transformation problem, not just a technology one. While a modern technology stack is critical for building digital capability and yielding a higher return on investment by lowering costs, it also offers the opportunity to make grants even more effective by improving outcomes for citizens. Technology has a key role to play in government and public sectors’ efforts to become modern, trusted and agile. While modernity drives efficiency and effectiveness, becoming trusted and agile requires a different level of technology thinking, especially around data driven insights.

Digital transformation improving grant administration

Globally, grant management is often being managed on inflexible, outdated legacy and there are many opportunities for improvement. When looking at the big picture in grant management, it is clear that advances in efficiency that come from modernising the administration platform are not just limited to governments themselves. A legacy grant management platform would also create significant overheads for other organisations involved in the distribution of grants to citizens, especially providers (both commercial and charitable).

Gaining people power through improved grant management software

Deploying decent online processes around a proper case management solution frees up public servants from low value tasks, such as progressing contracts or checking application status; the same applies to case workers on the provider side. Using data analytics to understand how time consuming applications are is of as much value to a provider as it is to government. Generating statistics on where grants are being spent can help governments improve, help providers improve how they engage with their target citizens and foster data driven decision making. Additionally, an effective payments system at the backend would work to further reduce the burden on the provider network.

Overall efficiency gains can easily cultivate effectiveness within grants teams, allowing the people involved in administration to focus on higher value tasks that are more likely to achieve better outcomes for citizens.

Building trust using data driven insights

Better trust on grants can be built through increased visibility. Enhanced visibility is achieved through taking a data centric approach, turning that data into meaningful insights and – where appropriate – making the insights public.

A modern administration platform can make data available to:

  1. Measure the efficiency of the process (across complex workflows) – Volumes, take up levels, case worker analytics, application submission-to-payment, error and omissions, reporting on the reporting process.
  2. Track the flow of money – How funds have been allocated and what they have been spent on (and where), measure whether goals are being met, identify potential mis-spend and feed back into the policy planning process.
  3. Build a socio-economic picture of how grants are helping – Through data driven insights that can report on whether goals are being met at a state and/or federal level. If all grant types are on modern technology platforms, then an aggregated view can be achieved, and the connection can be made between payments and outcomes.

Enhanced data collection, multi-layered data analysis and rapid, easy access to reporting through personalised, tailorable dashboards can provide an immediate view of the impact that grants are making.

KPMG's Program Funding Dashboard

Technology implementation for streamlined risk management

Fraud and error management is another area in which technology boosts trusts around grants. It is vital that grants are perceived as being fair, both by the citizen applying and by the taxpayers observing. Traditionally, fraud and risk management has been a largely manual process, involving hefty amounts of administration and intervention. Using intelligent automation can make it a much more dynamic process, which is smart enough to adapt to changing circumstances.

KPMG risk professionals are collaborating with grants teams around the world to implement automated solutions that consider risk management at every stage of the process. This makes managing potential fraud a more adaptive process, requiring less people intervention while simultaneously significantly reducing fraud levels. This can be explored hand-in-hand with a dynamic risk framework.

When it comes to error management, implementing technical solutions that support online applications with built-in error detection serves to increase trust in the system. Whereas previously applicants were notified later that their application had been rejected due to errors, they must be able to amend their application as they apply.

Gaining agility with adaptive and collaborative technologies

Being agile is not just about acting fast – it is also about adapting quickly. Taking a modular approach to forming solutions based on tested, reusable, configurable components helps to reduce the time-to-market. Many new technology systems can be put into place quickly, but that does not automatically mean that they will be adaptable in the future. Without the right evolutionary approach and a deep understanding into how the technology is intertwined with the operating model (process, people skills, service delivery and governance), these systems can quickly and easily become tomorrow’s legacy.

Agility also improves trust as it helps to reduce the time between policy announcements and visible outcomes. Conversely, unnecessary delays often dampen outcomes and erode trust.

Many organisations lack agility because they lack a change culture. When KPMG helps clients achieve digital transformation, change becomes part of the ongoing culture, supported by modern, collaborative execution technology tools that allow project teams to manage change more easily moving forward.

Technology implementation improving outcomes

Transforming grant management should be about creating better outcomes. This includes aiming to:

  • reduce admin costs
  • improve access to grants
  • help grant recipients to support their target citizens
  • boost the level of trust in grants.

Technology has a significant role to play, especially when looking at the big picture transformation program, underpinned by a desire to adopt tested target operating models that leverage leading practice and data. Used wisely, technology can be harnessed to measure and improve outcomes, providing assurance that grants are achieving the purposes for which they were intended.

Digital transformation of grant management is not just about deploying new technology. But new tech certainly helps and should be warmly embraced!

KPMG Powered Enterprise for a successful transformation

KPMG works with organisations to help deliver meaningful change. By approaching the problem as a digital transformation project rather than just technology implementation, the outcomes are much more likely to consider and include leading practice for process, people (skills/roles), service delivery, governance, technology, and data driven insights.

KPMG professionals have considerable experience in helping clients implement market leading, customer-centric solutions based on KPMG Powered Enterprise | Marketing Sales & Service. This is an example of a more holistic, outcome-focused business tool that includes a choice of enabling technology platforms (including Microsoft and Salesforce). Much of the demand for Powered Enterprise comes from clients (including those in government and public sector) having previously not seen the potential benefits they had expected from a technology platform – mostly because they had wrongly assumed that the technology alone was the solution to their problems.

This blog article was authored by Peter Zalkind, KPMG in the US, and originally appeared on the KPMG International website.

Grant management article series

In this short series of grant management blogs, senior leaders from KPMG firms' global Government Advisory team provide insights into how governments can drive change, get more from their investment in grants, and deliver better outcomes for citizens.

Throughout this series, ‘grants’ refer to the various mechanisms that transfer funds from governments to third parties for the delivery of public support, relief, or services either as a one off or ongoing.

What next?

To learn more about how governments can achieve better outcomes from their investments in grant management programs, explore the related articles below:


Grant management – How KPMG Australia can help