The payroll is the largest expense area for many organisations, and one which should be controlled carefully. Nevertheless, payroll fraud accounts for 17% of all fraudulent disbursements suffered by organisations. There are three main types of payroll fraud – Ghost Employees, Overcompensation, and Bonus and Commission Schemes.
One of the key tasks for managers of organisations is to reduce the risk of events which will affect the ability of their organisation to achieve its goals. These include risks in the areas of occupational health and safety, finances, market and competitors, supply, compliance and regulatory, currency, professional, disaster and fraud. Managers are usually proactive in reducing all of these risks – except fraud. Why is this?
One of the most common forms of employee fraud that we have been seeing for quite some time involves access to internet banking. Businesses often have two signatories for company cheques but allow full single user access to their internet banking. The result is an accident waiting to happen.
An internet banking fraud of $20 million was reported today in the Sydney Morning Herald involved the payroll manager of listed white goods retailer, Clive Peters.
I thought that we should look at purchasing fraud, which covers purchases made by employees on company credit card or company account.
It was expected that the fraud was relatively small. Over the course of the investigation, it was found that the fraud had been going on for a number of years.
The organisation that does not set boundaries effectively exposes itself to actions by employees that may threaten the entire business.
When it comes to employee fraud, prevention is definitely better than cure. So why do executives who routinely minimize other risks to their organisation fail to address one of the most commonly occurring threats – employee fraud? Perhaps they believe that they would notice any fraud before it became serious, or that their employees are all trustworthy, or it is the auditor’s job to spot fraud, or that this is an area that is too organizationally difficult to for them to address.