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text 2017-05-30 05:07
The Southbourne Tax Group: Do you really know who you are paying?

Do you really know who you are paying?


From fake invoicing and pay-and-return schemes to personal purchases with corporate funds and payment fraud, fraud in the procurement-to-pay process is very common and extremely difficult to prevent and detect.


According to the 2016 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), fraudulent disbursements are the most common form of asset misappropriation. Of all the types of fraudulent disbursement, billing schemes are the most common with an average of 22.2% of the cases and a median loss of £80,000 ($100,000).


The following real-life examples illustrate common scenarios of procurement fraud in small- and medium-size enterprises: the first case study is a real-life example of an electronic disbursement fraud while the second and the third relate to billing schemes.


Case study 1: MediaCo


Jenny was managing the finance and administrative activities of MediaCo, a small media production company specialising in documentaries for TV, co-founded by Kevin and Ivan.


Over time, Jenny found an easy way to boost her wages. When approving payments, Kevin always cross-checked the invoices and payment details thoroughly, while Ivan approved the payments without double-checking them against the invoices. From time to time, Jenny would enter her sister’s bank details into the online banking system instead of a supplier’s account details. She would then submit the payment for approval to Ivan. Ivan would approve without noticing that the bank details on the payment were different from those specified on the supplier’s invoice. After a couple of weeks, when she knew that Ivan was out of the office, she would include the same vendor invoice in a payment (with the correct vendor bank details) and ask Kevin to approve it.


Jenny was the only one who managed the accounts at MediaCo, and she could easily allocate the cost of the fraudulent payment to a number of P&L accounts to cover up the shortage.


One day, she was forced to stay at home for a couple of weeks through illness, and the co-founders’ personal assistant covered for her. Following a call from an angry vendor who complained about not receiving payment on his last invoice, the personal assistant looked into the finance files to check whether the invoice had been paid. Thus it was discovered that by paying invoices to her sister’s bank account, Jenny had managed to embezzle approximately £60,000 ($75,000) over a three-year period.


Case study 2: KitchenCo


Matt was the marketing manager for KitchenCo, a medium-size bespoke kitchen manufacturer.


He convinced the company’s owner of the need to invest approximately £100,000 ($125,000) to improve KitchenCo’s online presence. The owner did not have any background in online marketing and social media presence. But he knew that some of his competitors were investing in such activities, and he wanted to keep up with them.


Matt created a shell search engine marketing company called SEMCo with a fancy website and his wife as the company director. He painted SEMCo as one of the top companies on the market and got the owner to approve an inflated quote for SEMCo’s services.


Then, Matt engaged a couple of inexpensive contractors to whom SEMCo subcontracted the work for a much lower price than what KitchenCo paid SEMCo.


After a few months, during a networking dinner, the owner met a search engine optimisation (SEO) consultant, and when their conversation turned to KitchenCo’s SEO initiatives, the consultant was amazed by the price KitchenCo had paid, and stated that he had never heard of SEMCo.


Because of this conversation, the owner asked KitchenCo’s finance director to carry out some checks on SEMCo and found out that it was owned by Matt’s wife, and that the price KitchenCo had paid was well above the market average.


Case study 3: GlassesCo


For 15 years, David was the finance director of GlassesCo, a retailer that sold spectacles and lenses. GlassesCo used a small legal firm, LegalCo, and over the year, David got to know John, the owner, quite well.


At a certain point, the two men came to the following agreement: John would inflate the number of hours of consulting provided to GlassesCo, David would approve the inflated invoices, and they would split the fraudulent proceeds. This arrangement was quite easy to pull off because David was the only approver of the invoices.


One day, the CEO of GlassesCo received an anonymous email reporting that David was approving inflated consulting invoices. The CEO engaged a fraud investigator to verify whether the claims were true. By reviewing David’s email archive, it became obvious that he was colluding with John in a pay-and-return fraud scheme worth £30,000 ($37,500) over the past two years. Due to the email archive retention period, it was not possible to ascertain whether the loss was even greater; however, given the length of David’s service and for how long LegalCo had been providing services to GlassesCo, it is quite likely that the loss amounted to much more than that.


7 ways SMEs can protect themselves against procurement fraud


Segregation of duties: In all three examples, the lack of segregation of duties made the frauds possible or helped to conceal them. In MediaCo’s case, the lack of segregation of duties in the accounting function allowed Jenny to hide the fraudulent payments in the general ledger without anybody noticing. To achieve segregation of duties, responsibility for processing payments should be allocated to a different individual from the one in charge of posting transactions in the general ledger. Another way to segregate duties is to ensure that finance systems require two users to process journal entries: one to post journals and one to release them.


In the second case study, segregation of duties could have been achieved by giving the finance department responsibility for carrying out due diligence on the new vendors. This would have uncovered the shell company fraud scheme before the vendor had been engaged.


In the third case, David’s fraud would have been discovered much earlier if the CEO had to approve LegalCo’s invoices in addition to David’s approval. To ensure that invoices are independently approved, they should be reviewed by a second individual, other than the person who holds the relationship with the vendor.


Robust reviews: In the first case, the fraud was made possible by the poor controls carried out by one of the two managing directors, who did not check the details of the payments against the supporting documents. In the case of KitchenCo, the owner did not perform a thorough review of the vendor selection process carried out by the marketing manager, which resulted in the engagement of a shell company as a vendor. When approving, the reviewer should be aware of the specific reasons why the approval is needed and the risks it is designed to mitigate. Raising awareness around this topic would help improve the quality of the review performed.


Vendor selection and approval: Having a strong vendor selection and due-diligence process in place is crucial to avoiding procurement fraud, as the case of KitchenCo shows. A strong vendor selection process should include a bidding procedure and a due-diligence process to ensure that the new vendor is a genuine company and that there is no potential conflict of interest. Once those checks have been performed, the new vendor should be approved by another party who should conduct independent checks to ensure that the selection process has been carried out fairly and without bias.


Automated controls: Manual processes are more prone to errors and fraud than automated processes. In the case of MediaCo, the fraud would have been much more difficult to perpetrate if, instead of using manual payments, the company was using an automated system. In this case, the vendor details would have been populated automatically based on the data available in the vendor master data. Therefore, provided that appropriate controls around the vendor master data had been in place, it would not have been possible to perpetrate this type of fraud.


Ongoing vendor monitoring and benchmarking: It is best practice to monitor an existing vendor’s performance over time to ensure that the level of service meets expectations and the price is appropriate. The monitoring activity should be carried out by a department or person different from the one managing the relationship with the client on a day-to-day basis. This would have helped prevent GlassesCo from falling victim to the overbilling scheme.


Tight analytical and budget review: All of these cases lacked a robust review of the actual and budgeted figures. While more challenging for small, rapidly growing companies, the review process should include not only a tight review of the actual-versus-budget figures, but also analysis of the financial ratios and comparative analysis to identify costs that need further investigation. The tighter the controls, the greater the chance of spotting frauds.


Hotline: Tip-offs are the most common way of uncovering frauds. Having a formal, structured process to report and follow up suspected instances of fraud and control override helps SMEs encourage people to report such cases. Nowadays, a number of companies, for a flat annual or monthly fee, provide a 24/7 hotline service in different languages.


In each case study, the fraudsters saw an opportunity to take advantage of the perceived lack of control and thought they could get away with their scheme. To prevent and detect fraud effectively, senior management must have good oversight over controls.

Source: view.joomag.com/the-southbourne-tax-group-do-you-really-know-who-you-are-paying/0722194001496114324?short
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text 2017-05-30 02:06
Southbourne Tax Group Review - How not to panic on tax as a millennial


As a millennial, you probably have a lot of financial responsibilities. One could be student loans then second is some investments together with different sources of income such as part-time jobs or side hustles. With this, filing your own taxes could also mean carrying some stress which can cause you some panic.


Southbourne Tax Group understands your worries as a millennial in this regard, thus the following were made to ease your qualms. But before anything else, experts also recommend contributing to your 401(K) plan to save on taxes and to invest in your retirement as well.


Keep in mind the tax deadline


Meet the deadline without further excuses but if there are any unexpected circumstances, alert the IRS beforehand with proper steps. Choose whether to file your taxes completely, request an extension, or apply for a payment loan. You’ll be responsible for penalties, interest and late fees if you miss the deadline without asking for a proper extension.


Find the good tax software


You can use a DIY tax software program in filing your own taxes if your tax situation is pretty simple. Good thing is that the IRS offers free software if your income is $64,000 or less to help you file your taxes with no charge.


Side hustle expenses should be written off


Filing taxes for the income from your day job could be simple but if you’re also side hustling, better have further considerations. Let’s say you can write off specific expenses you had with your side hustle such as from buying various equipment or supplies. Costs of such can be deducted on your tax return, reducing your taxable income.


Make the best use of education tax savings


The majority of education costs are tax deductible. And to determine the ones you’re qualified for, enumerate all your higher education expenses. Consider getting more tax tips with the help of a tax professional if you’re still uncertain, or follow the reminders provided by the tax software.


Ask about the saver’s credit


Saver’s credit is a tax credit offered by the IRS to motivate people to accumulate money in a retirement account. With this, your tax bill at the end of the year could be greatly reduced. The credit amounts to 50%, 20%, or 10% of your retirement contributions up to $2,000. It depends on your adjusted gross income the amount you’re qualified for.


Job-hunting costs should be deducted


Costs included in finding a new job could be deducted as well. You can claim this tax deduction if the new job is in your current career field. Costs used in your search may include resume copies, dry cleaning, employment agency fees, certification or classes and business travel expenses.


Put enough time to prepare


Probably the most crucial tip is to have a good schedule in preparing everything you need in filing your taxes. Put enough effort and time to manage your taxes before the deadline to avoid having a panic attack or having to deal with some huge stress. Southbourne Group wants you to be responsible and organized on the subject at hand. 


Make sure to have the right calculations


Taxes can be sensitive since even a small calculation error can lead to big mistakes. Check your work carefully and make sure that every detail is correct. There are also other ways you can make sure that your tax information is correct such as with the help of the built-in features of a DIY tax program, however, don’t entirely depend on such software because, at the end of the day, it would still be nice to check everything yourself.


Southbourne Group also suggests educating yourself on deductions and credits you might be qualified for. If you really need more help in filing your taxes but can’t hire a professional tax expert, there’s no harm in trusting some free resources. Don’t panic; just be responsible and organized always.


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text 2017-05-29 04:39
The Southbourne Tax Group - Forensische accountancy: Ondervindt u fraude?

Forensische accountants weten dat de meest voorkomende vorm van fraude in elk bedrijf verduistering. Verduistering wordt meestal uitgevoerd op een systematische manier om te voorkomen dat elke vorm van detectie. Het kan gebeuren voor een lange periode van tijd en resultaat in enorme financiële verliezen voor een organisatie. Een forensisch accountant zal doen een achtergrond controleren van alle medewerkers om te bepalen van de persoon die verantwoordelijk is voor de fraude als ze ontdekken dat enig bewijs.


Opsporen van fraude in uw bedrijf


Als u geconstateerd fraude in uw organisatie, moet u bewijs alvorens actie tegen een werknemer die wordt verdacht. Met de hulp van een forensisch expert, zal u kunnen bepalen hoeveel een werknemer neemt, waarna de bewijzen die nodig zijn om de kosten van het bestand.


Bijstaan van uw wijzen van geschillenbeslechting


Uw forensisch accountant zal kunnen om u te helpen bij de behandeling van de resolutie van je geschil. Bijvoorbeeld, zal uw accountant kunnen de nodige bijstand te verlenen aan uw advocaat bij de voorbereiding van de operationele rapporten.


Forensische accountants zijn actief betrokken bij de presentatie van de rekening en het benaderen van boekhoudsystemen. Door het verkrijgen van een forensisch accountant aan boord, kan u gemoedsrust dat uw nummers en titels in bestelling voordat uw hofdatum zijn hebben.


In de rechtszaal


Een forensisch accountant heeft de verantwoordelijkheid voor het kwantificeren van de schade door beide partijen die betrokken zijn bij een juridisch geschil. Vaak moet je in een positie om geschillen te beslechten op Tsjaad Garland CPA voordat u naar het Hof; Als het geschil bij het bereiken van de rechtszaal gebeurt, kan echter een forensisch accountant als een getuige-deskundige getuigen.


Een forensisch accountant is meestal na een fraude zich al heeft voorgedaan, maar uw forensisch accountant zal zitten kundig voor schrijf deskundigenverslagen en helpen bij eventuele verdere fraudeonderzoeken ingehuurd. Ze zal forensische analyse van uw financiële gegevens, kennis van resultaten in mondelinge en schriftelijke verslagen voor uw geschillen en verschillen tussen medewerkers en de onderneming te identificeren.


Blootleggen verborgen activa en inkomsten


Forensische accountancy zal helpen bij het opsporen van een aantal zakelijke gebreken zoals het opsporen van verborgen, ontbreekt of frauduleuze financiële informatie. Om te bepalen als uw zakelijke rapporten kloppen of bent u verdacht van fraude, is het het beste om te praten met uw lokale cpa of forensisch accountant vóór het indienen van een belangrijke financiële documenten.


In het geval van een echtscheiding is een partner met een hoog inkomen waarschijnlijk om bepaalde activa te verbergen. Uw forensisch accountant zal helpen bij het opsporen van verborgen of overgedragen inkomsten door het analyseren van een ander individu de belastingaangiften en financiële overzichten. Merkteken technieken kunnen ook worden gebruikt ter identificatie van de verborgen activa. Uw forensisch accountant kan helpen om uw geval voor een billijk aandeel van wat je tijdens geschillen verdient.


Het vinden van een lokale forensisch Accountant


Bepalen of uw bedrijf tekenen van verduistering heeft of fraude moeilijk voor de gemiddelde ondernemer kunnen. Het is een enge gedachte voor de meeste Amerikaanse die hebben hun tijd en geld geïnvesteerd in onze business. Ons doel bij Tsjaad Garland CPA is te helpen ondernemers en particulieren ontdekken van enig bewijs van fraude, melden aan de lokale autoriteiten en helpen met succes het oplossen van eventuele financiële geschillen. Bel vandaag nog hebt u twijfels over uw recente financiële verslagen!


Wat is forensische Accounting?


Forensische accountancy is een tak van de boekhouding die poogt te identificeren en voorkomen van fraude in een organisatie. Forensische accountants, zoals Tsjaad Garland CPA, voeren audits in ondernemingen te identificeren van de verschillende manieren fraude is gepleegd. Ons werk is het verzamelen van concreet bewijs dat in een rechtbank ontvankelijk is. Wij combineren de onderzoeks- en boekhoudkundige vaardigheden in verschillende rechtszaken voor het verlichten van de gebeurtenissen die in gevallen van fraude en verduistering plaatsvonden.


What to Look for in uw forensisch Accountant


Bent u in de markt voor een goede forensisch accountant, moet u de volgende kenmerken in uw accountant van keuze identificeren vóór de ondertekening van alle papierwerk:


  • CPA (certified public accountant) certificering
  • Digitale forensische vaardigheden
  • Expertise in andere gebieden van de financiële verslaggeving zoals controle, kleine zakelijke rekeningen, enz.
  • Referenties van verleden klanten die succesvolle resultaten in geschillen hadden


Niet alle van dit is noodzakelijk om een goede forensisch accountant, maar u moet er zeker van te zijn dat u gebruik van een professional die vertrouwd is met deze vaardigheid ingesteld maakt op het krijgen van de beste bang voor je buck.

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text 2017-05-19 02:57
The Southbourne Tax Group: Tips til at maksimere din tilbagebetaling af skat


2017 skat sæson begyndte denne måned og lokale skat revisor, Jennifer Eubanks med Mcneel CPA tilbyder nogle tips til folk, der endnu ikke har indgivet deres tilbagebetaling.


"En masse mennesker, der er selvstændige ikke ser at tage den selvstændige sygesikring," siger Eubanks, "Med sygesikring er så høje, kan du tage et fradrag."


En anden fradrag Eubanks siger folk ofte glip er deres sundhed opsparingskonto hvor du sætte penge ind på kontoen, men kun bruge det til at betale medicinske regninger.


"Du får også til at tage et fradrag på selvangivelsen for at sætte penge ind på en sundhed opsparing konto," siger Eubanks. "Det er lidt ligesom en pensionering konto bortset fra det er for lægeudgifter."


Betydning ligesom en 401k, jo mere du lægger i mindre skattepligtige indkomst du har, øge din tilbagebetaling.


Et andet tip er for forældre, der har børn i college, amerikansk mulighed for skattefradrag.


"Noget, der vedrører skole som bøger, undervisning," siger Eubanks. "Enhver form for kvalificerende udgifter for at de kan tage fradraget så de skal holde med alle de udgifter, de har mens de er i skole."


Eubanks siger IRS sprængning på svig året forsinker frigivelsen af arbejdsindkomst kreditter og ekstra barn skat indtil midten af februar.


"Hævder børn der ikke formodes for at være på deres selvangivelse så IRS undersøger i flere af disse arbejdsindkomst kredit forsøger at fjerne en masse af svig," siger Eubanks.


Når arkivering din afgifter Eubanks siger at holde alle dine indtægter og udgifter organiseret for at lette indgivelse proces.


Arbejdsgivere har indtil 31 Jan. sende W-2 former og selvangivelser skal indgives af 18 April.

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