It is no secret that all companies are at risk of fraud and losses. Fraud usually occurs when sufficient internal controls are lacking or are inadequate. The best approach for a small-business owner is to be proactive by taking steps to stop fraud from happening within your company, you may be able to avoid fraud from happening within your company if you are aware of the common red flags surrounding fraud in a company. Here are five red flags that you as a business owner should pay attention to.
Missing Documents – While accidents do happen and items are sometimes misfiled, it isn’t overly uncommon for documents to go missing in the workplace. But if it becomes a frequent occurrence that is regularly noticed during the process of reconciling bank accounts or reviewing customer receivables, fraud may be the reason.
Unusual cash transactions – Any significant differences between cash expectations and actual receipts should be studied carefully. Do not wait to investigate if a pattern seems to be emerging.
Increasing Expenses – Fake vendors, padded expense reports and fraudulent invoices cost companies thousands of rands each year. Be aware of trends that do not make sense in light of your business or the current economy. Question the payments to new vendors, advertisers or consultants that no one seems to know either who they are, or what service they are providing.
Abnormal Invoice Volume/Numbering – A spike in the volume of a particular vendor’s invoices may certainly be due to a legitimate increase in business or related to a specific project. It may also point to fraudulent activity.
Travel reimbursements – This is another area that is often abused in a company. It is easy for an employee to falsify these records if no one is paying close attention. Make sure that receipts coincide with all aspects of travel expense reports.
For assistance with Fraud Prevention get in touch with Uphando Forensic & HR Services.