Warning signs of employee fraud

There’s been a couple of horrific examples of employee fraud over the past couple of years. I was blown away when I read details of the cases involving Clive Peeters Electrical and Hastie Engineering. I think they are worth considering further as the technique used by the employee involved was similar and both involved amounts over $20M!! There is a weak link within the Australian Banking system which allows you to pay someone by eft without the correct “Account Name.” In these cases supplier or wage payments were setup with the correct payee name but the bsb and account details were actually those of the fraudulent staff member.

Having 2 signatories will not pick this up unless the 2nd signatory independently checks the bank details of the payee. We recommend never using EFT payments. There is no need to as there are so many other secure methods of payment available these days with built in security utilised by bookkeeping software such as MYOB, QuickBooks and Xero.

While unreconciled bank accounts or suspense accounts are a red flag to an accountant, at a recent CPA conference a Scotland Yard Fraud Investigator talked about some more subjective warning signs to watch out for if you suspect employee fraud. Be wary if you have a staff member who never wants to take holidays or sick leave. Taking a holiday may mean that someone else will have to do their job while they are away and come across what they have been up to.

Another sign is that the staff member may show no interest in promotion or pay rises- they prefer to stay where they are. These are simplistic indicators and can obviously be quite innocent, but if there are other warning signs it may be worth digging a bit deeper. Outsourcing your accounts and bookkeeping to a member of a CPA Australia will ensure that you are covered up to a limit by their compulsory Professional Indemnity Insurance.

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LEAP Office V10 vs LEAP

Leap Legal Bookkeeping- LEAP Office V10 vs LEAP

As LEAP Certified Consultants we support both LEAP V10 and LEAP Cloud. We provide a Fixed Fee Service to look after your Trust and Office Bookkeeping and also your Annual External Examination. Call us on 1300 226657 or click on the link below to request a Fixed Fee quote for our Bookkeeping Service.

If you are looking at upgrading from LEAP V10 to the Cloud, here’s a list of some of the main feature differences:

 LEAP 2003/ LEAP V10 LEAP Cloud
Hosted Data StorageNoYes
 Automatic BackupNoYes
Automatic Version UpdatesNoYes
Integrates with XeroNoYes
Named User LicensingNoYes
 Concurrent User LicensingYes No
Forms & Precedents
 Automatically Updated No Yes
 Ability to remove Container Yes No
 Outlook and Excel Precedents No Yes
Create your own Matter types Yes No
 Faxing Yes No
 iPhone App No Yes
Reminder Letters Yes No
 Budgets Yes No
 Supplier Module Yes No
 Extensive Suite of Reports No Yes
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What to Expect from Bookkeeping Services

Proper bookkeeping is critical for every type of business.  This information can help shed light on how a business is doing, and where improvements need to be made.  While many small business owners take on this task on their own, there are times when hiring bookkeeping services may be more practical.

Before rushing out and hiring just any bookkeeping services firm, it is important to have an understanding of what you should expect from these professionals.  Below are some of the most common duties.

One common task that bookkeeping services provide is the reconciliation of bank statements.  This is done by providing a document that highlights any differences between the amount of cash shown on the bank account statements, and the actual cash balance within the company.

This helps to check for mistakes in either the company’s records or the bank’s accounting. Trial balance sheets are another service that bookkeeping professionals should provide.  This is a type of worksheet that verifies accounting balances were figured properly.

Financial statements must also be prepared by the bookkeeper.  These statements help with decision making, as the business owner can determine the financial health of the company, where the company is under performing, and areas that could be improved.  If the company has shareholders or stakeholders, creditors, suppliers, or even other involved agencies, these documents are essential.

A bookkeeper must also maintain the general ledger for the owner of the business.  This ledger will contain all raw data, which is then summarised and classified to later be used in financial statements and trial balances. Accounts receivable and accounts payable should be maintained by a bookkeeper or bookkeeping services firm as well.  This data tracks all unpaid transactions, in addition to compiling a list of who the company owes money to. Finally, a bookkeeper needs to process payroll.

Payroll services issue payments to employees, calculate bonuses, track deductions, make sure the proper taxes are withheld, and ensures all payments to outside sources are handled properly. In addition to knowing what is expected of a bookkeeping firm, a business owner should also take some time to determine the exact needs of the company, find a bookkeeper close in proximity to the company, and compile a list of possible options.

From this point each potential candidate should be contacted, fees should be compared, and references should be acquired.  This will ensure you find a reputable firm that will provide you with exactly the services you need, at a price you can afford.

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