Two Things Small Businesses and Non-Profits Can Do Now to Combat Fraud

Our forensic accounting expert, Annette Benson, CPA, CFE, provided her top two suggestions that organizations can do now to prevent fraud.

  1. Have someone look at the bank statements every month. This reviewer should be someone other than the individual writing/recording the checks; ideally the reviewer should be the owner or a board member. The reviewer would be looking at things such as: Is there an authorized signature? Is this a recognized vendor or employee? Does the amount seem reasonable? I personally feel that a paper copy of the bank statement and checks is faster and easier to review versus looking at statements online and clicking on individual checks and deposits. I encourage clients to have the statements mailed to them directly and reviewed prior to providing to the staff for reconciliation. There may be a cost to receiving paper copies, but may be worthwhile for the time savings to review.
  2. The second suggestion is to log into Company credit cards online every month to look at the various reports that are available. The credit card companies have done a great job at giving options to view: spending by person, or by category, date, etc. The card companies have made it helpful to quickly see if something appears unusual. Once a routine is developed, these two suggestions should not require significant amounts of time. Regularly reviewing information sets a good tone at the top that fraud is not tolerated and serves as an effective deterrent to signal oversight of the accounting.

Contact Annette Benson at (888) 388-1040 to learn more about our fraud prevention, investigation, and litigation support.