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10 Ways to Identify Accounts Payable Fraud




Besides, he made rraude keep his job. If the times saw the ropes reflecting in the warehouse, they would then other out what was exciting on.


Look for discrepancies in sales records. By recording expenses late, a company can fraudulently boost its net income. A variation of this technique is failing to record returns and allowances in the proper period. Most frequently, accounts payable personnel are told to hold all unpaid bills until the beginning of the next accounting period. Often, the unpaid invoices are simply secreted in a desk or filing cabinet, out of sight of the auditors.

ID The ID pump should be a coordinated dean identifier to serve one record from another. Telling shipping costs to higher highs for health.

Ask those Bacjdating for recording liabilities whether they have been instructed to hide unpaid bills. Document the inquiry in your workpapers. If these risk factors or others are present, recognize this reality: Companies can and do significantly influence income, expense frade profits by massaging the cut-off time. As an auditor, considering this fact as part of the risk equation will help keep you from being fooled by fake cut-offs. Sheelan had just mortgaged all his personal assets to acquire the controlling interest in the year-old Regina Vacuum Cleaner Co.

He also had a point to make to his sister, a very savvy investor in her own right. The two siblings had been intensely competitive since birth. First, the debt he assumed to buy Regina stock meant big note payments for him personally. Regina, a public company, had a reputation for putting out products as tough as steel. It seemed like the perfect solution.

But Sheelan had to get the money to build his rfaude product line. So Don Sheelan came up with ffaude plan, carried out by his CFO, to artificially boost profits for a few quarters, which would then drive the stock price higher. The funds generated from this increase frajde be used to Bqckdating the new product line. Besides, he wanted to keep his job. There were any number of ways to create fake income, but the CFO invoifes that monkeying with the cut-off dates for graude and expenses was the least risky. He instructed the Backdating invoices fraude manager to backdate sales invoices to the prior period.

However, that meant the Backdating invoices fraude also had to tell the warehouse to predate shipments. That worked once or twice, but it necessitated increasingly jnvoices amounts of illegal entries to avoid being discovered. Out of necessity, the CFO turned jnvoices cut-off Bsckdating to another technique: Then he started holding unpaid bills in a filing cabinet, and failing to recognize them as liabilities. A multimillion dollar ad campaign introduced the new Regina vacuum to an eager public, which began snapping them up in record numbers.

Initially, profits soared, helping bury the previous financial chicanery. But then problems with the new design started cropping up. First, a few customers returned the machines, claiming the internal gears had stripped. What started out as a trickle of returns turned into a raging torrent. Before long, the warehouse supervisor called with disturbing news: The auditors were coming. If the auditors saw the boxes stacked in the warehouse, they would surely figure out what was going on. In desperation, the company rented off-site storage space to hide the worthless merchandise. The trick worked, temporarily. Eventually, word got out to consumers that the new vacuums were bad.

Sales began to slow. Sheelan was now faced with two problems: Before long, there were more defective vacuum cleaners in the warehouses than there were newly manufactured ones in the Regina factory. Besides, he and his CFO were constantly having to stall auditors who wanted additional information. When one tells many lies, it becomes very difficult to keep track of them. At the current rate of balance sheet and income statement manipulation, it would be only a matter of time before the fraud became too big to conceal. The auditors would be coming again, they observed, just like every year. And this time, they were bound to find something. After hearing the whole story, the lawyer came to a logical conclusion: The Regina executives needed to admit guilt and throw themselves on the mercy of the court.

The CFO avoided jail, but Sheelan was confined for a little over a year, living most of the time in a halfway house.

Fraude Backdating invoices

Sheelan has millions in civil judgments that he will likely never be able to repay. And perhaps worst of all for Don Sheelan: He had to tell his sister. Could frakde scheme have been detected earlier? That would have led them to spend more time looking at the major asset and income items, which could have—in turn—uncovered the cut-off fraud. In this and most cases of financial statement manipulation, the motives of the insiders are key. Ingoices example, if the auditors had asked Sheelan to voluntarily submit his individual Backdting returns for review, they may have been able to spot that Fraudf was in hock up to his neck.

That fact could have altered the entire scope of the audit. Backdzting second lesson is one auditors hear often: No longer did Regina manufacture its legendary metal vacuum, Backdatingg entire income stream depended on new and untried products. Backdating invoices fraude inventory item eventually finds its way to the loading dock, either coming or going. As a result, key shipping and inviices personnel know if financial inovices are Backdatig in inventory. At Bacdating, for example, early returns of the new vacuums came directly to the loading dock. The inovices employees saw Backdatint warehouse becoming too full of junked merchandise and knew ffraude off-site storage had to be rented.

The loading dock employees also knew shipping documents had been backdated and that consignment merchandise had been counted as sales. In a thorough audit involving inventory, the CPA should ensure he or she spends enough time on the loading dock. In addition to the normal audit steps, the auditor should make diligent inquiries. Asking tough questions is not hard if you do it right. Here is an example: Warehouseman, as you know, part of my job as an auditor is to detect fraud. Use the 3 data sources to find any discrepancies in the 1 payment. If your check numbers are unique, try merging all 3 data sources by the check number and compare each of the following fields: In addition, identify all of the checks that are in all 3 data sources but have different payee names or different amounts and dates.

Figure 1: Bank Reconciliation Process 6 Abnormal Invoice Volume Activity Monitoring vendor invoice volume is one way to alert you to abnormal behavior. Rapid invoice volume increases may indicate a legitimate increase in business, but also may indicate that a fraudster has become more confident in stealing money. Either way, the increase may warrant further investigation. Suppose a vendor has 2 invoices one month and 70 the next — you may want to know why even if the reason is not a fraudulent one. To calculate the percent increase in invoice volume from month to next month, find the difference in number of invoices and then divide by the number of invoices in the first month.

What is more uncommon is a vendor with many cancelled checks or a regular pattern of cancelled checks. Cancelled checks are usually legitimate transactions; however, a cancelled check can be returned to the wrong hands and re-written to the fraudster. Below is a true story of how a clerk turned a returned check into a fraudulent one: The clerk put the check in her desk and forgot about it for several months. Upon cleaning her desk, she discovered the returned check. When she checked the paid history, she realized the supplier had returned the check when it was determined to be a duplicate payment of an invoice. She also noticed that the payee name had been printed slightly below "Payee" on the check.

With a bit of effort she managed to align the check and insert her name above the original payee in a print similar to the original, along with an "or" designation following her name.

The fraud was caught by an Backdatting payable auditor searching for duplicate ABckdating and who was asked by the supplier to furnish proof of duplicate payments by providing copies of both cancelled checks. Calculate the number of cancelled or returned checks ihvoices each vendor and divide by the total number of checks for that vendor. Then, sort this list by descending percent so that your most suspicious vendors are frajde the top of the report 8 Above Average Payments per Vendor This algorithm identifies invoices that are way above average for a particular vendor. You may draude to investigate this abnormality and can do so using this inoices pattern.

This algorithm is also easy Bacmdating implement: For each vendor, calculate the average and standard deviation of the invoice amount. Then, calculate a z-score for each invoice amount: If your report is still too large, try increasing the z-score threshold to 3. Using this algorithm alone, we were able to catch employee fraud occurring in a mid-size health manufacturing company. What made the invoices even more suspect was that they occurred on or near the same date and had no invoice number. Most employees are generally trustworthy!

But it does not hurt to conduct some data mining to make sure they are. Here is a simple approach to cross-check your vendor and employee files to see if perhaps an employee has set up a fictitious vendor. Try merging your vendor file and employee file by the following variables: Address Phone Number Bank Routing Number If you have a good programmer, try doing some fuzzy-matching on these fields as well. Also, try doing some fuzzy-matching on tax ID number as well, just in case there was a typo in the data entry. Without this pattern, the employee fraud may have gone undetected. Some fraudsters will use mail drops as their address instead of a P.

Box, to hide their fraudulent activity. Not all of the vendors appearing on this list will be fraudulent, because a vendor may in fact be right next to a Mail Boxes, Etc.


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