As seen in the Coffs Coast Advocate

By James Davis

As a business owner your focus is on driving sales, cutting costs, managing staff. But what if all that focus and hard work is being undermined by someone who is quietly stealing your money?

Fraud is more common than most business owners realise and 60% of small business fraud is perpetrated by an insider, often someone you trust.

Fear and suspicion are not going to protect you from fraud, but well executed internal controls will. Let’s look at two of the most common types of small business fraud and tips on how to prevent them.

Cheating the Payroll

As soon as you hire employees you become vulnerable to payroll fraud. This could be employees adding extra hours on their timesheets, commissioned workers reporting false sales, or even creation of fictitious employees.

Your best protection is to ensure that more than one person in the organisation is responsible for approving the payroll, and that key ‘sign-offs’ by senior staff are in place. This allows you to prevent the problem in the first place

False Invoices

Fake invoicing is another scam that preys on sloppy administration. An employee submits a duplicate or inflated invoice. Or, a cyber-criminal sends a legitimate looking invoice by email.

Procedures to check client invoices for discrepancies versus orders or unusual bank details will go a long way to preventing this type of theft.

Protect Yourself and Your Business

The best way to protect your business is to have systems in place that make it difficult for fraudsters to go unnoticed.

Conduct an audit of all your systems and consider how your current processes might be at risk of fraud. This includes your processes for hiring new staff, approving and paying invoices, monitoring cash and stock.

For business owners who want to be protected, but don’t have time for detailed audits, try HQB’s Fraud Prevention Service.

This includes a thorough systems audit, with ASIC registered auditors observing the actual operation of your business. A Risk & Control Matrix is then provided to highlight areas of risk and recommend internal controls. The HQB team can also provide assistance in implementing the new systems.

Whether you choose to audit your systems yourself, or you bring in outside help, the important thing is to be aware that tight internal controls are your best protection against fraud.

For more information go to hqb.com.au or call 6652 2333.

Posted 15.10.2019

 This article is compiled as a helpful guide for your private information and is subject to copyright. We suggest that you do not act solely on the basis of material contained in this article because items are of general nature only and may be liable to misinterpretation in particular circumstances. We recommend that our advice be sought before acting on any of these crucial areas.

What Our Clients Say

I'm really enjoying the personalised touch and service I'm receiving from Ian and Siarn. Always prompt, professional and happy to answer my silly questions and help me stay informed. I've been a client of Bill's and HQB for about 20 years. Since Bills retirement he passed me on to Ian and the quality of the service just seems to keep getting better. HQB comes highly recommended by me.
Trent Allen
Trent Allen
03:43 25 Jun 20
We highly recommend the team at HQB. We are a Sydney based business, and we find the team highly professional, responsive, and just a pleasure to deal with. They are very proactive and we feel as though we are a valued client. Well done to Brad Sheaves and team HQB !
Alastair Fysh
Alastair Fysh
04:31 25 May 20
HQB accountants have been an asset to our business. They have made Job Keeper a breeze and kept our business strong. They respond to emails quickly. They have been terrific value for us as they have brought knowledge and expertise that I don't have even if I had the time to do my accounting. They have taken the time to understand my business and structure our finances accordingly.
Kyle Maloney
Kyle Maloney
06:19 22 May 20
Amazing service from James (& Brianna), going well above his responsibilities to his clients. Cannot recommend James highly enough. HQB a highly professional and responsive accounting firm. Incredibly quick at responding, yes, often after hours, which is more than we would ever expect from any professional. I am continually recommending James to friends and family. Many thanks James. Kind regards, Lyn (& Jeff) Green
Jeff Green
Jeff Green
01:02 17 May 20
James became our Accountant last year and he has handled all our entities swiftly and pro actively. We are incredibly impressed with him and HQB and feel very comfortable in their hands to manage our Business. James is always prompt in replying and sometimes out of hours and his handling of our recent predicament with COVID 19 has helped us manage our Business successfully through this trying time. Thank you James and the team at HQB. We will always recommend you highly,.
Pandora Colledge
Pandora Colledge
01:36 15 May 20

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get all the latest news from HQB delivered direct to your inbox

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

 
285

Days left until the new financial year. Get your tax sorted today. Click here to get started.