Protecting Against Company Fraud and Theft
As a company leader, you naturally worry about protecting your business from being exposed to risks. Like the Trojans discovered, the mightiest walls can sometimes fall easier from within than from outside. As a business owner or corporate leader, you should be aware it’s estimated that almost 33% of all business failures involve company fraud or theft of some sort. These deceitful activities often include fraudulent disbursements, skimming or diverting business funds, misappropriating customers or trade secrets, embezzlement, and even downright larceny. Knowing the steps to safeguard your organization from these risks will not only help your business grow, but likely ensure it prospers.
Successful internal controls doesn’t have to involve a big investment of time or money. Any business can benefit from utilizing simple measures such as using purchase orders, controlling cash receipts, and implementing pre-numbered business checks to keep a vigilant eye on company assets. Additionally, having an accurate and reliable inventory management can help identify theft. Security systems can also help eliminate the ability to steal physical equipment or merchandise.
Successful businesses know that regular internal auditing can go a long way to instilling respect for internal controls. The Institute of Internal Auditors describes internal auditing as “an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations.”
So what if you feel that your organization’s internal auditor can’t view the audit objectively? This is why hiring a third party, external auditor is required of many companies under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Dodd-Frank Reform. Even if you aren’t required by the IRS to have an annual, external audit performed, or you have an internal auditor employed by your company, external auditing is the best way to objectively review an organization’s business processes.
A forensic audit is one typically performed by a forensic accountant with experience in accounting and fraud investigation. A forensic audit is called for when there is a strong reason to believe that fraudulent financial activities are taking place. A forensic audit is performed in a manner to preserve any findings during the course of the investigation for evidence in court, should it be needed.
Protecting Against Company Fraud
Protecting against company fraud and theft starts first with intelligent audit planning and implementation of internal safeguards and controls. By employing an experienced audit firm to assist you in designing your internal controls, you’ll be better armed with the necessary tools to fight company fraud and theft by utilizing a strong audit strategy. Contact The Baird Audit Group to speak with specialists in all things audit at (706) 855.9500 or send your inquiry online HERE.