Defrauded companies lose a median $130,000. But construction companies are hit even harder, with a median loss of $227,000. What can you do to protect your construction business? Tighten your internal controls. In addition to conducting surprise audits, segregate duties — meaning that more than one person handles accounting tasks. Require employee vacations, and have […]

surgeon hand with scalpel during surgery

When people hear the term “forensic science,” they usually think “CSI.” What comes to mind when you hear the term “forensic accounting”? Similar to forensic scientists offering opinions about scientific matters, forensic accountants may be called on to investigate and serve as financial experts in commercial litigation. Here’s how. Who they are Forensic accountants specialize […]

Business owners and executives commit only 19% of all occupational fraud, but they cause a median loss of $850,000, vs. $100,000 for regular employees. So spotting red flags is critical. Crooked executives may be reluctant to cooperate with internal investigations, outside auditors and regulators, and may become agitated or annoyed when probed about financial discrepancies. […]

It should come as no surprise that cash (including checks that are easily cashed) is the most popular target of fraud perpetrators. Once stolen, cash is virtually untraceable. But fraud experts have tools to unearth these schemes, particularly fraudulent disbursements. To confirm overbilling, experts might investigate accounts with no tangible deliverables and examine returned checks […]

Buying a home is stressful enough without having to worry about hackers. But homebuyers should be on the lookout for home closing wire fraud. In these schemes, thieves hijack the email accounts of real estate agents, title companies, attorneys or lenders, and then email homebuyers instructing them to wire funds. To avoid becoming victims, buyers […]

Bankruptcy can be a valid business tool when used properly. Unfortunately, it can also enable less-than-honest business owners to profit at the expense of their creditors. Such is often the case with “phoenix” companies that rise from the ashes of businesses that were deliberately run into the ground. To avoid becoming the unpaid creditor of […]

Hoping to find inexpensive or difficult-to-obtain concert, sporting and other event tickets, many consumers turn to the online resale market. But while most resale transactions are legitimate, some buyers are tricked and end up with stolen or counterfeit tickets, or no tickets at all. To avoid purchasing invalid tickets, buy from the event’s official ticketing […]

Forensic accountants are best qualified to unearth the “hows and whys” of occupational fraud. But it’s up to employers to know when it’s time to call for professional help in the first place. The signs of fraud can be easy to miss, but they’re usually there. Something doesn’t belong Dishonest employees may use anything from […]

From invoices and payments to discounts and write-offs, many business transactions are recorded to accounts receivable. This makes receivables a popular fraud target. But your business doesn’t have to become a victim. Common schemes Receivables fraud occurs when dishonest employees divert customer payments for their personal use. They use various methods, including: Lapping. This is […]