Stop Fraudsters Targeting Business Weaknesses During COVID-19
It's vital that businesses protect their finance and internal controls which could be a target for fraudsters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dated: 25 March 2020 Author: Allan Maund, Head of Compliance and Risk
There’s no doubt that fraudsters are already exploiting businesses and individuals during the COVID-19 global crisis.
Here are some tips to protect your business against the finance and internal control weaknesses that fraudsters may try and target.
- Regularly communicate updates and reminders of policies and procedures to staff through emails, staff meetings and other communication methods
- Periodically assess risks and the level of internal control required to protect your assets and records related to those risks. Document the process for review, including when it will take place.
- Segregate duties in the finance function of your business
- Perform monthly management bank reconciliations, preferably with someone other than the person responsible for the day-to-day management of the bank transactions.
- Do not keep signed blank cheques for future use. This practice leaves you vulnerable for misuse.In fact, where possible, element any cheques from your business. If you have to use cheques, these should be treated as secure items and have restricted access.
- Any write-offs should be reviewed by a senior managing official/partner – this should not be a decision of the relevant team.
- Review the supplier/vendor list for potential fake entries.
- Undertake a Payroll BACS to Supplier BACS review to check for matching bank account details.You may wish to consider extending this to include postal addresses held for both.
- Keep a close eye on your margins and key numbers. For example, if your cost of goods sold or gross margin is off, find out why.
- All overtime should be approved by management prior to it being worked.
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