Reading: FISCAL Technologies warns on financial fraud during coronavirus crisis

The ongoing impact of the coronavirus outbreak has seen an increase in financial fraud in businesses across all sectors, as criminals look to capitalise on the current uncertainty. This is placing added pressure on accounts payable (AP) teams to ensure fraudulent activity is minimised, and the organisation’s working capital is protected.

According to forensic solutions and services provider FISCAL Technologies, AP teams have an opportunity to be a voice of calm amongst the chaos, if they make sure they have all the right financial controls in place to address the spectre of fraud and maintain a sense of continuity.

David Griffiths, CEO at FISCAL Technologies, said: “The current situation has led to an unprecedented level of disruption to business operations, and fraudsters are seeing the opportunity to make their mark. However, AP teams have a huge role to play in steadying the ship through these choppy waters.

“Key is to ensure that all the right financial controls are in place to minimise errors, maximise visibility of transactions, and streamline processes – especially with so many people now working from home.

“All of this means being thorough in your approach. Using three-way matching to validate payments is an effective first line of defence, but it does leave processes open to errors, which could heighten the potential impact of fraud. This is because it lacks the more in-depth oversight that can be achieved when combined with additional stringent internal process controls, strict visibility of master supplier files, and forensic analysis of transactions before payments are made.”

He concluded: “We’re definitely in exceptional times. The purse strings for every organisation are tighter than ever, so the last thing you want to be contending with is a fraud incident. Despite the huge challenges we’re all facing, accounts payable teams should take stock and remember that they can play a hugely significant role in guiding businesses through to a brighter future when the storm clouds abate. Be meticulous, avoid cutting corners, make full use of different technologies and look after your employees throughout all of this, and there are many reasons to be optimistic.”