3 discussion responses 2
- How do internal controls such as separation of duties, redundancy, and centralized processes discourage employees from committing fraudulent acts?
Internal controls such as separation of duties when implement, can discourage employees from committing fraudulent acts by ensuring there are oversight and review in place to catch errors. It can also help to prevent fraud or theft by requiring transactions be conducted by two or more people. Internal control like redundancy will require additional reviewers for performing transactions and multiple signatures when checking writing. Centralized processes discourage fraudulent acts by implementing tracking and monitoring mechanisms. Overall, with these internal controls in place they provide processes, checks and balances that protect and safeguard the company assets.
Recently, my daughter experienced a situation in her new role as a Director over a decentralized radiology office. One of the functions of the Director role is to make the daily bank deposit. She had not officially performed this task for her office and it was still being handled by her manager. However, on this particular day, she was asked to make the deposit. Since her admin was leaving the office for the day, she offered to make the deposit on her behalf. However, my daughter was notified on the next day that the deposit was short by $100. My daughter took the blame for this issue, and eventually replaced the missing amount. Had there been checks and balances and a process in place for processing daily bank transactions, this would not have taken place. There should be multiple reviewers/signatures and verifiers on all transactions and deposits, at a minimum.
2. Why are some small businesses more susceptible to employee fraud and theft? Explain.
The ACFE â€œ2016 Global Fraud Studyâ€ described two key reasons why some small businesses experience more cases of employee fraud and theft over larger businesses. Those reasons were: A lack of basic accounting controls and a higher degree of misplaced or assumed trust. Typically in smaller businesses, you have a single point of contact that handles multiple functions, for example, financial transactions. This individual controls it all, making fraudulent behavior easier to go unknown to others. This person is your go to. The one who makes deposits, control the books. The person management relies on. Much trust is placed on this individual. How do businesses combat this? Companies must be more proactive. They should routinely review financial information. Segregate duties.
- Given that the ACFE â€œ2010 Global Fraud Studyâ€ reported that employee tips were the most common way that fraudulent acts are discovered, how can an organization encourage honest employees to report fraudulent behavior committed by co-workers, supervisors, clients, or vendors?
The report stated that more than 40% of frauds are found with the help from tips received from co-workers, etc. Why not more? Many employees are honest individuals and uphold high ethical standards. However, they want to feel protected and should be when reporting fraudulent behavior committed by their co-workers or others. Organizations should have mechanisms in place that encourage employees and provide the avenue and the protection they need to feel comfortable reporting. Managers and leaders should receive training on whistle blowing and the protection of the employees. Employees should be trained on their options and know that the company takes whistleblower protection seriously. Employees need to know that retaliation against them will not be tolerated when reporting fraud, including their supervisor. The company policy around fraudulent behaviors should be publicized, and employees should be provided multiple means for reporting fraudulent behavior, such as after hours in the event they are uncomfortable reporting at work.
- How important is it for an organization to have a code of conduct that defines fraudulent behavior and what happens to those individuals who commit such acts?
A code of conduct lists a state of rules, company values, ethical principles and the vision of the company. So yes, it is important that organizations have a code of conduct in place that defines fraudulent behavior. The rule should clearly identify the standards and expectations of the employees and that there is â€˜zero toleranceâ€™ to any retaliation for stepping forth. Those commit such acts could face termination of employment, fined and/or possible prison, if found guilty.
Business Woman Media (2018, January 25). How to encourage employees to report fraud and misconduct.Retrieved from: https://www.thebusinesswomanmedia.com/encourage-employees-report-fraud/
Krugar, J. (2019). Employee fraud is more common in small businesses â€“ Are you protected? Retrieved from: https://www.google.com//amp/s/signatureanalytics.com/employee-fraud-common-small-businesses-protected/amp/
MaRS (2019). Internal controls in accounting: Key benefits. Retrieved from: https://learn.marsdd.com/aricle/internal-controls-accounting-key-benefits/
TWO: I once was a on a project where the individual doing the hiring also submitted payroll information. That individual tried to get me to go along with putting friends on the list for the project so that they would get paid even though they did not work on the project. I was like NO WAY! Talk about lack of ethics. To me, this proved why it is a must to have a separation of duties as far as hiring versus payroll. Thoughts? How would you have handled such a situation?
Three: The internal controls such as separation of duties, redundancy and centralized processes discouraging employees from committing fraudulent acts will be addressed. The question of why small businesses are more susceptible to employee fraud and theft will also be discussed. The encouragement of honest employees to report fraudulent behavior committed by co-workers, supervisors, clients or vendors will also be examined to address the ACFE â€œ2010 Global Fraud Studyâ€ reported. The importance of an organization having a code of conduct that defines fraudulent behavior and what happens to those individuals who commit such acts will be addressed to ensure an organization is not losing unnecessary profits. First to be discussed will be internal controls to discourage employees who commit fraud.
The internal controls to discourage employees from committing fraud such as separation of duties, redundancy and centralized processes assists in protecting an organization and the profits. According to Elizabeth Wasserman, â€œGiven that fraud against your business can impact the bottom line, it’s important to set up procedures to verify adherence to anti-fraud policies and to detect and deter possible business fraudâ€ (2010). Having a separation of duties especially when money or supplies are involved protects the organization as well as employees for any discrepancies that may arise. If one employee is in charge of all aspects of payments received, deposits, supplies, etc. this allows the employee to take full responsibility for all transactions, which in turn can lead to embezzling money or committing fraud with supplies the company utilizes. Redundancy of processes also protects the organization and employee from discrepancies that can ensue. Having more than one employee sign off on transactions, supplies and deposits allows for a checks and balance process to occur. The use of centralized processes can deter fraudulent behavior with the employee understanding the information is being tracked and documented and unusual money transactions or an increase in supplies will be followed by a centralized department and questions will be asked when such occurrences are identified. Small businesses can be more susceptible to fraud and theft due to the lack of checks and balances.
Small businesses usually do not have large departments and may have one employee for each task that needs to be completed such as invoices, deposits or supplies ordered. This allows for a greater opportunity for fraud and theft due to a lack of checks and balances from multiple employees or departments. If one person is in charge of all monies the company receives or supplies ordered the one person can make variations in invoices, money received or supplies ordered on paper to prevent the organization from knowing of their deceptive behavior. Many small businesses do not have the large influx of funds or supplies and can be small amounts at a time that may go unnoticed for months until there are questions or concerns with the money or supply transactions. This in turn leaves the small business far more susceptible to fraud and theft without proper checks and balances by the owner of organization or a designated second sign off for all company transactions. Organizations having policies in place protecting employees who report fraudulent behavior and theft is necessary for employees to feel they will be protected by the organization for notifying of such fraudulence and not suffering retaliatory actions.
Organizations having a policy in place for employees who report fraudulent and theft in an organization need to know there will not be retaliatory actions that can affect their job. Organizations need to protect such employees who have the companyâ€™s best interest in mind and are willing to speak up when fraudulent or theft of the organization is known of or identified by an employee. The organization needs to allow the employees privacy when reporting such information as well as ensuring they will not lose their job when such concerns are brought to supervisors, managers or executive leadership. The importance of organizations protecting employees from retaliatory behavior or termination will allow for open dialogue when illegal activities are occurring in an organization. The importance of having a code of conduct in place defining fraudulent behavior and actions that will be taken when those individuals who commit such acts protect the organization and the employees.
Organizations large or small should have a code of conduct in place that defines the expectations of behavior and the repercussions or steps that will be taken when fraudulent behavior or theft occurs. According to Chris Joseph, â€œPerhaps one of the most important actions you can take as a business owner is the establishment of a written code of ethics. This may help prevent the occurrence of many forms of unethical workplace behaviorâ€ (n.d.). Having a code of conduct in place sets the expectation for employees and defines the steps that will be taken when such behavior occurs, which in turn protects the organization from litigation that may ensue. Every organization large or small can fall victim to fraudulent behavior or theft, but defining the rules and expectations allows for the organization to have documentation if litigation should ensue due to the poor behavior of employees regardless of their position.
Joseph, C. (n.d.). Common Workplace Ethics Violations, Chron. Retrieved August 1, 2019 from
Wasserman, E. (March 12, 2010). How to Protect Your Business Against Fraud, Inc.com.
Retrieved August 1, 2019 from https://www.inc.com/guides/protect-against-fraud.html.