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Berri Barmera Council avoids a $125k mistake

Liz Fourie, Manager of Corporate Services at Berri Barmera Council, explains how Eftsure prevented them from making a $125k incorrect payment and transformed their supplier management process, making it more secure and efficient.

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The Berri Barmera Council is in the Riverland region of South Australia. The Riverland population is approximately 33,000, while the Berri Barmera Council population sits around 10,500. The Berri Barmera Council area incorporates the townships of Barmera, Berri, Cobdogla, Glossop, Loveday, Monash, Overland Corner and Winkie. Berri has traditionally serviced the region for state and federal government services.

There’s one thing you want to avoid and that’s hitting the front page of the newspapers for all the wrong reasons.

Liz Fourie
Manager of Corporate Services, Berri Barmera Council


Liz begins by sharing how frequently the Council was receiving fraudulent emails requesting to change bank account details, including one that could have caused a loss of $35,000 in an incorrect termination payout. Internal fears were growing around the sophistication of cyber-attacks and the financial losses they could cause – not to mention the reputational damage, which is especially risky for a Council that depends so heavily on public trust.

With a need to protect the Council’s bottom line and a drive to tick off the auditors’ compliance checklist, it was time to upgrade their security and compliance measures.


Liz, a forward-thinking innovator at the Council, strived to do everything proactively rather than reactively. They needed a solution that would not only tackle the fraud risk but also satisfy the stringent demands of their auditors.

Enter Eftsure. Liz chose Eftsure for its reputation in providing robust, real-time payment protection. Her vision was clear: a secure process that left no room for error and could demonstrate a high level of due diligence. “There’s no payment that goes through that hasn’t been checked,” says Liz.

Within just months of having the software implemented, the team were running their usual payments and came across a red thumb next to a supplier. With the payment being for $125,000 and the thumb symbolising a mismatch in information, Liz quickly put a halt to the payment and began an investigation.

It wasn’t long before they identified the supplier they were paying had undergone ownership changes and the account they were about to pay was, in fact, the incorrect one. Even thought it wasn’t attempted fraud, it was still an error that could have caused serious financial and reputational harm.

Eftsure is the easiest product in the whole world to implement.

Liz Fourie
Manager of Corporate Services, Berri Barmera Council


The Council’s innovative approach paid off in only a few months. Not only did Liz’s team avoid a $125,000 error, but the Council also achieved better management of supplier information, ensuring that all details are consistently up-to-date.

Adopting Eftsure was also a strategic decision to simplify the auditing process and keep auditors happy. As Liz points out, “The auditors will ask ‘what’s your process? What do you do?’ And since we’ve put Eftsure in place and showed them, well, that box is ticked. They don’t ask us that anymore.”

Additionally, Berri Barmera also achieved:

  • Rapid and seamless integration. The Council easily implemented Eftsure into their existing processes, minimising disruptions and facilitating a smooth transition.
  • Time efficiency. With Eftsure’s automated checks, the Council saved 10 minutes per supplier onboarding, allowing the team to reallocate their time to other crucial tasks.
  • Maintained supplier information. The Council discovered that half of their supplier information was out of date. With Eftsure, they now have confidence in their supplier data’s accuracy and timeliness, without needing to perform lots of manual checks or audits.


Ultimately, implementing Eftsure has given the Council a newfound confidence in their payment processes.

“You need something like Eftsure so you’re certain the money goes where it’s supposed to go,” says Liz. And that’s precisely what Eftsure delivers: certainty, security and a big tick on their compliance checklist.

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