The Coronavirus is a goldmine for business fraudsters, both internal and external. Changes to business practises will mean systems need to be hardened to deliver the protection required.
From invoice fraud to staff reduction, and controlling non-purchase order driven expenditure, there are affordable solutions ready to deploy. And they all save you money immediately.
- The average company sees >40% of its expenditure without PO controls.
- Most businesses will lose > £1,850 this year due to invoice fraud.
- The Accounts Payable function is obsolete.
For 30 years, Advanced UK have been helping businesses of all sizes across diverse industries become more resilient, and our core technical solutions represent the very best in business continuity. It's also clear that the entire procurement and invoice processing functions have exposed terrible weaknesses in the face of the pandemic.
Why 2020 is the Year of Change for Finance Teams
As the world moves into a post-pandemic stage, many organisations will adopt new operating methods discovered under ‘lockdown’. Offices may be occupied more flexibly, or not all, as a new understanding of the ‘workplace’ takes hold.
With a career-long involvement in Business Continuity, and a member of the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), I was taken by the BCI's newly released report which cites that 54.8% of businesses will not return to their pre-pandemic business model.
Apart from the inevitable downsizing of staff head counts (making people redundant), there's renewed acceptance for process automation, strengthened IT resilience, and a determination to be better prepared for the next wave of COVID-19, a severe fly season, or other events which might have similar effects upon normal operations. Strangely enough, it has been well ignored by the media that the next event might very well be climate-driven, and nothing to do with medical issues.
Change: Opportunity for Fraud
Fraudsters love change. New staff are vulnerable to old exploits, and established staff are 'trying to do the right thing'. The end result is a faked invoice can be submitted digitally, and so long as the value is very low, it's all too easy to make the payment. Repeatedly.
Internally, and more so amidst a staff dislocation, the normal checks and balances are harder to manage. Very often, as we know, they weren't there in the first place.
If 40% of your organisation's expenditure is outside of your purchase order system, you are merely average. Apart from the absolute open door to internal fraud, there are more fundamental losses. For example, if your purchasing is being spread among two or three suppliers, how are you negotiating procurement discounts?
Consider the costs of processing the surplus invoices, and how are you controlling expenditure if it's just hitting your books as line items on company credit cards or - even worse - as periodic expense claims?
Now is the time to tighten ship. Control the payments with rigorous procurement approvals, secure the invoice processing, and pare back the staffing required to achieve the same level of performance.
In a mid-sized business, it's not unusual for there to be two Accounts Payable clerks. Even assuming they're both on the national average salary for the role, £24,000 pa, - and let's not forget the total cost of their employment - imagine the savings if that total expenditure might be reduced by 80%?
So take some time out, and watch our webinar, above. Realise what's possible, and then call us. We're here to help.
Next steps for Business Continuity
Auditors, insurers, Boards of Directors and individual management teams are going to demand action so as never to be caught out again. At Advanced UK, we want to reassure you that we understand the complexities, and we have the proven experience to help you through the array of solutions which will deliver robustness.
Call us on 01895 811811 to discuss with our Senior Consultants - free of charge - how we can get your journey started.