Multi-operator ticketing schemes often feature numerous products covering different passenger types, time periods, geographical areas and modes of transport such as bus, tram and rail. The complexity of the reimbursement methodology can be further compounded where the scheme incorporates survey data, deferred revenue, operator sales commission, scheme administration costs, etc.
Due to the bespoke nature of individual schemes, the calculations that underpin operator reimbursement are usually performed through a series of spreadsheets compiled by the scheme administrator, with no visibility by the operators. In our experience, due to the size and complexity of these spreadsheets, they can become difficult to maintain, particularly with the addition of new products or operators, and soon become prone to errors.
For one such scheme we were asked to audit, we identified spreadsheet errors in excess of £100k, which had led to the incorrect payments to a number of operators.
Given operators cannot see the full reimbursement picture, they need assurance that the scheme rules have been applied correctly.