Just when you think accounting is not exciting or interesting, you should know that fraud and fraudulent accounting/business practices are among the oldest business activities – not THE OLDest, of course – but very, very old and deep-rooted…
We stumbled upon this fascinating article/post on www.AccountingToday.com about the marvelous collection of fraud memorabilia, which has been assembled by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) organization. Not sure if they have an actual museum or archive you can visit in person somewhere out there, but this article has a selection of 10-20 key pieces in an online gallery for your perusal and enjoyment – you should pay the “Fraud Museum” a quick visit! Among other items, there’s this gem from Bernie Madoff:
RANDOMATRIX (formerly DreamIT) has worked with accounting and business software systems since 1995, so (as you can imagine) we’ve seen a few odd, off-color, non-kosher and otherwise unsavory (and yes occasionally fraudulent) accounting behaviors, acts and events. Luckily, as business management consultants and software implementors, we have never been responsible for any fraudulent accounting or business practices, but we’ve seen a a few accountants and their firms go under as the result of oversight, errors, ineptitude, and/or direct involvement in bad accounting with or for their clients.
Anyway…in our experience with small and mid-sized companies (and their accounting systems), fraudulent accounting is often not performed by the business owner, but by one or more trusted employees! Beware the Controller who won’t take a vacation…or the CFO who spends too much time in the Cayman Islands… Of course catching a fraudster is not quite that simple and easy (usually), but keep your eyes and ears open, and make sure you pay attention to your accounting system(s)!
No matter type of business you’re in, and what type of fraud your business might be susceptible to in the internet age, the key is to make sure all your accounting and business software/systems are secure, and provide STRONG accountability, history-tracking, and generally audit-worthy data structures. We specialize in business processes and software systems to run your business safely and securely – email us for more info!
In the meantime, be safe (watchful) and fraud-free… Click here to visit the ACFE Fraud “Museum” Gallery post on AccountingToday.com.
— RANDOMATRIX —