Do you have fraud in your business? No – are you sure?

Do you have fraud in your business? Ask this of most business owners and you get two responses:-

  • “NO!“ accompanied by an affronted look that says “do you really think that I am stupid”.
  • “Yes, but its only the odd mileage and expense claim that may be inflated“ and they argue that the cost of eliminating this is greater than the money they lose

What if I tell you that in this current calendar year I have worked on cases where the frauds total in excess of £1m and all this was whilst working for very successful people and businesses. No that isn’t a typo, I really do mean fraud where the cash lost totals over one million pounds. Needless to say the effect on the businesses affected have been huge and sadly, in one case, fatal.

Experience has taught me that several readers of this blog have got to this point and are saying “I am too good to be affected”. If you fall into this category then try these questions:-

  1. Do you know the authority levels on your internet banking and payments. Are you sure ? Are you really sure?
  2. Can anyone change the payment templates on internet banking? If you paid XYZ plc last month are you sure the payment details for them are still valid and not those of Rogue Employee?
  3. Do you sign all the cheques personally, or if not do you have two signatures on each cheque.
  4. Do the cheque signatories actually look at the supporting invoices to the cheque or just internally raised paperwork.
  5. How do suppliers get added to the purchase ledger? Do you know everyone you are paying?
  6. Can your companies inflate the value of stock to boost profits?
  7. Have you ever said “its ok X looks after all that and I trust them with my life”

I know that at least one person reading this is now saying “that’s all very good BUT all this takes time, time that could be spent generating new business and reducing real costs.” Agreed you could spend time that way, but how long will it take the businesses affected to recover the £1m compared with the time it would have taken to eliminate the chance of fraud.

If you act on this correctly you will never see the results, if you don’t then I guarantee that when you do see results it will be too late.