Understanding COSO: developing strong internal controls

It is important to note that there is NO way to fully prevent fraud. Collusion between employees will always be a risk in your organization but a strong internal control system will help minimize the damage and limit fraudulent opportunities. Understanding why employees commit fraud is vital in creating a successful prevention strategy. The fraud …

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Don’t give employees opportunity to commit fraud

The term “segregation of duties” is used in the prevention of fraud within an organization. It involves separating duties among employees so that no single staff person is put in an advantageous position to exploit their control for self-gain. A large factor in how someone commits fraud and gets away with it is that they …

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ACFE 2016 Report to the Nations on fraud

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) releases a report biannually on fraud in the workplace. The Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse was most recently released in 2016. The report provides statistical information on occupational fraud, with the goal of raising the level of awareness of fraud risk. The 2016 edition …

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Have you completed an internal risk assessment?

If an auditor were to ask you, “What is your opinion of your internal controls,” how confident would you be in your answer? Do you really know how strong your internal controls are for your organization? The best way to find out for yourself is to perform an internal risk assessment on your controls. This …

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ACFE – Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners recently released their annual “Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse”. The report provides statistical information on fraud in the workplace during 2014. Here are a few of their findings: Participants estimated that the typical organization loses 5% of revenues each year to fraud. The median loss …

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Cancer Charity Fraud Part I

Last Saturday while browsing the internet at a coffee shop, I came across any donor’s worst nightmare. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), over the past eight years The Cancer Fund of America, The Cancer Support Services Inc., The Children’s Cancer Fund of America, Inc., and The Breast Cancer Society spent $187 million dollars …

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The Importance of A Conflict of Interest Policy

Conflict of Interest policies for board members are a much needed piece for any not-for-profit organization.  A conflict of interest policy will help board members recognize when their activities are related party transactions and should have different treatment.  These treatments include processes for decision making and disclosures to the financial statements.  When a board member …

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6 Methods to Implement in Detecting Workplace Fraud

In these economically stressful times, pressure and incentive to perpetrate fraud are more plentiful. Employers must address fraud risk more rigorously than ever before. Annual communication with the entity’s auditor can help pinpoint areas of higher risk.  Once identified, these areas can become the focus of management brainstorming sessions to develop processes to heighten awareness …

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Auditor General Fraud Alert – Billing Schemes

The Office of the Auditor General for the State of Arizona recently issued a fraud alert regarding common billing schemes. The Alert cites a 2010 study done by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners that indicated most misappropriation schemes involve the theft of cash receipts or involve fraudulent disbursements of cash. The study also indicated …

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