It’s a sad fact of life that there’s always someone out there looking to pull the wool over your eyes. Fraud is as old as business, and chartered accountants in London are finding that more and more clients are turning to them to help detect and prevent fraudulent activity.
It would be nice to not have to worry about it, but it pays to be cautious and play it safe so consider these ways that you can protect yourself from fraud and detect if some foul play is afoot.
- Enforce Strict Checks And Measures. The number one cause of fraud, either within a company or perpetrated by an outside supplier or other business, is a lack of any kind of regular and enforced system of checks. Leading chartered accountants in London report that poor or non-existent checks are quickly detected by less honourable types and exploited to the maximum. Your accountant will be able to advise you further, but make sure that your checks are meticulous and systematic.
- Regular Bank Reconciliations. This should be your first tool, and is just part of good financial housekeeping. Most chartered accountants in London advise their clients to carry out reconciliations monthly at least. Keep an eye out for deposits that have failed to register or cheques left off the report. Both could indicate fraudulent activity.
- Watch Your Bookkeeping Ledger. If, as advised by a good accountant, you’re running a double entry bookkeeping system then you have a good tool to detect discrepancies. If anything goes missing you should find that your ledger is out of balance. Once detected this needs to be investigated.
- Check Payroll Against HR. For small companies this isn’t so much of an issue, but auditors working for chartered accountants in London report a surprising number of fraud cases involve the creation of a fictitious employee to siphon off money. If you run a large company it pays to ensure that payroll outgoings match up to HR data on employees.
- Be Wary Of Excessive Credit Notes Or Voided Receipts. According to the top chartered accountants in London high numbers of void sales receipts could well indicate that sales are being put through but then voided and the funds diverted. Likewise if you notice a spike in credit notes then it warrants investigation as they could be used to explain away cash discrepancies.
These are just some basic guidelines to help you protect yourself against fraud. The onus is on you to make sure processes are in place and carried out regularly. Chartered accountants in London and around the UK will be happy to advise you on best practice when it comes to fraud detection and prevention. Many have specialist teams who handle just this sort of thing, so if you’re worried speak to a reputable accountant today.
HW Fisher’s team of chartered accountants in London can help you ensure that you aren’t a victim of fraud. Contact them for a consultation today.