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review 2017-08-28 23:09
13 Ways of Looking At a Fat Girl
13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl: Fiction - Mona Awad
I really don’t know what was so hilarious about this novel. From reading the synopsis, I expected some humorous moments while I read but in reality, I didn’t find anything funny. I did find a novel that I think reflected the situation at hand. No, I didn’t think this novel was sad, I thought it reflected the reality of what some individuals must face every day.
 
Being overweight, Misery went through a lot of self-discovery and change, as she tried to deal with her situation. Misery knew she was overweight and as a teen, she craved for attention. She was more concerned about pleasing others than herself. As the novel continued, her behavior started to bother me. She was reckless, she was going downhill, her self-esteem was suffering but she couldn’t see what was actually happening. Then, Misery changed. She became overly concerned about food and her body image. The weight started to come off but had she just changed her focus and not herself internally?
 
It’s a good novel that addresses how some woman feel about their bodies and how society influences it. I didn’t feel that this novel dove as deep as it should when addressing this issue. I did enjoy the short chapters but I wanted more. Weight and self-esteem go hand-in-hand in this issue as Misery shared her life with me.

 

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review 2017-08-25 20:32
Beyond Dolls & Guns: 101 Ways to Help Children Avoid Gender Bias - Susan Hoy Crawford,Crawford, Susan Hoy Crawford, Susan Hoy

This book has some good information on the basics of gender bias. It was written in the 90's so some of the information is a bit out of date, but (sadly), most of it is still very relevant today. Crawford did a good job focusing on various topics such as issues for boys, sexist language, and how to cope. I did like the appendixes in the book which were "Nonbiased, Inclusive Language", "Research Summaries" (on girls and boys), and "Famous Women in History". This first focuses on problems with language used and replacement words, which was very helpful. I also enjoyed the last appendix, which give brief information on a variety of women (not just white women). Overall, a good read with some important information, if a little bit out of date.

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review 2017-08-19 14:07
#55 - Seven Ways we Lie by Riley Redgate
Seven Ways We Lie - Riley Redgate

I bought this audiobook with my Audible credit of the month and I had not a lot of expectations because I had not heard too many things about this book. I just found the topic interesting and I assumed it would be a light contemporary read. It was not a light read. And I LOVED it.

 

All these characters have so many qualities about them, I was scared they would only be the embodiment of the sin they represent, but they were way more complex than that. Honestly, I'm not even sure I know which character was which sin, which is positive because it means they were not too clichés. Still, I think I managed to identify some of them.

 

Seven Ways We Lie is one of those books where the storyline is not the most important thing about the book. The plot has a purpose, but after reading it I forgot almost everything that happened. But I remember all the characters so vividly. It was just a typical high school setting with typical high school drama; but the characters were everything to me.

 

If you are searching for diverse characters, read this book (there was even a pansexual MC which is so rare in YA books). They all have with their own problems and flaws and you discover more about them bit by bit. It was confusing at first to understand who was who, but I think it is because I listened to it. Once I remembered all the names, it was easier to follow. The character building was nicely done.

 

I won't describe every character because I really think it is important to read about them without knowing anything but I just want to mention Olivia who is such a great female character: I love everything she represents. Olivia is not scared of who she is and she is not ashamed of what she likes, which is sex. I am so glad I read a book about a young girl not being okay with the fact that men can talk about sex and women cannot. It is not something new, but it is so damn rare to find it in YA. I love her passion and how she stands for herself, even if most guys are being total jerk (to stay polite) with her.

 

It was a great read and I really recommend this (edit; I think it is a debut novel which is even more impressive!!).

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review 2017-07-09 22:25
Another So, So Management/Leadership/Business Book
100 Ways to Motivate Others: How Great Leaders Can Produce Insane Results Without Driving People Crazy - Steve Chandler,Scott Richardson

I listened to the audio book and while there were some funny stories I cannot remember them and I would say that even there were some memorable tips for motivating others though now I cannot remember them.

 

I would have a hard time recommending this book.  

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text 2017-05-29 02:04
The SouthBourne Tax Group: Ways to Identify Accounts Payable Fraud

 

When Sarbanes-Oxley was passed in 2002, many companies were forced to take an in-depth look at internal Accounts Payable controls. Implementing internal controls takes time, but may prove to be a very cost-effective measure if any fraud or leakages are found. Here are a few approaches you can try to tighten up your A/P audit. They require some degree of data mining and programming capability but are fairly straightforward to implement.

 

1) Duplicate Payments

 

Duplicate payments in most cases may not be fraud-related, but continue to be a significant A/P leakage that is both preventable and recoverable. Mark Van Holsbeck, Director of Enterprise Network Security for Avery-Dennison, estimates that corporations make duplicate payments at the rate of 2%. Two percent may not sound like much, but if your company’s A/P invoices total $75 million, duplicate payments may account for $1.5 million. Take a look at the statistics:

 

  • Medicare - The Dept. of Health & Human Services’ Inspector General estimated that Medicare made $89 million of duplicate payments in 1998.
  • Cingular - We have once again discovered that payments made online as an Electronic funds payment for TDMA accounts, have been deducted twice from the customer's checking account.
  • Medicaid - We identified at least $9.7 million in such duplicate payments during our two-year audit period, and estimated that as much as $31.1 million in additional duplicate payments may have been made.”

 

In a rush to find the overpayments, many companies have emerged: A/P Recap, Automated Auditors, AP Recovery, ACL, CostRecoverySolutions, and more. That these companies are thriving is a testament to the fact that duplicate payments still occur at an alarming rate.

 

Many software packages have some controls over duplicate invoices but it usually takes some in-depth querying to find them all. For example, many accounting packages do a duplicate invoice check and prevent you from keying in a duplicate invoice number for the same vendor. But just add an “A” to the invoice number or change a penny and you are on your way to a duplicate payment. Another common mistake is found in vendor files; duplicate vendor numbers for the same vendor is the number one cause of duplicate payments.

 

2) Implement some fuzzy-matching

 

Implementing “similar” fuzzy-matching instead of exact matching is what makes this approach more accurate and powerful than many.  We define “similar” to mean the following:

 

Invoice numbers are considered similar if they are exact after stripping out any

 

Zeros and any alphabetic characters as well as punctuation characters.

 

Invoice dates are considered similar if the difference between the dates is less than a designated amount such as 7 days.  For example, if you entered "7" days for the date tolerance, then all invoices with a date different of 7 or less would be considered similar.  We generally set the date tolerance to 21 days to catch duplicate payments made 3 weeks apart; this often eliminates catching legitimate rent payments.

 

3) Rounded-Amount Invoices

 

People who commit fraud often create invoices with rounded amounts, which are invoices without pennies.  Yes, you would think the fraudster would have “cents” enough to do otherwise.  An easy way to identify rounded-amount invoices is to use the MOD function in Excel.  Suppose your invoice amount is $150.17; then MOD (150.17,1) gives you the remainder of dividing 150.17 by 1, which is .17.  So, using the MOD function with a divisor of 1 on a no-pennies amount would leave us a remainder of 0.  Additionally, try to rank your vendors by those with a high percentage of rounded-amount invoices.  To do this, just calculate each vendor’s number of rounded-amount invoices and divide it by the total number of invoices for that vendor, obtaining the percentage.  Then rank by descending percentage to review the most suspicious vendors first.   

 

4) Invoices Just Below Approval Amounts

 

People who commit fraud are not always the “sharpest knife in the drawer.”  Suppose an A/P clerk knows the different dollar thresholds for management approval.  For example, a supervisor may only be allowed to approve invoices of $3,000 or less, while a manager may be allowed to approve invoices of $10,000 or less, and so on.  Suppose this A/P clerk and a manager decides to skim off some extra dollars together.  What is the easiest way to get the most money?  Create an invoice just below the approval level of that manager:  $9,998 when the approval level is $10,000; or $2,978 when the approval level is $3,000.

 

To identify these potentially fraudulent invoices, try this:  identify invoices that are 3% (or less) LESS THAN the approval amount.  For example, if your approval amount is $3,000, then any invoice that is between $2,910 and $2,999 would be flagged as suspicious. 

 

5) Check Theft Search

 

Most Accounts Payable departments conduct a reconciliation of Accounts Payable with the monthly Bank Statement to identify any discrepancies between the two.  This process can also be instrumental in identifying check fraud.  One simple way to spot potential check fraud is to identify missing check numbers or gaps in reconciled checks numbers.  This is usually indicated on the bank statement with a ‘*” or ‘#’ to indicate the check number is not sequential.

 

Another more advanced way is to conduct a reverse Positive Pay electronically.  By merging your check register, A/P file, and bank statements together, you have the power to identify stolen checks.  Better yet, if your bank has OCR (Optical Character Recognition) abilities, then you can identify the actual payee on the check.

 

Speaking in technological terms, you have 3 different data bases describing 1 activity.  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:

 

-payee

-check amount

-check date

 

Using SQL code or another programming language, identify all of the checks that are in one data base and not the other.  In addition, identify all of the checks that are in all 3 data sources but have different payee names or different amounts and dates.  

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