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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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fraud

Fraud: Why do people commit it?

An interesting interview with Eugene Soltes, the Jakurski Family Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, appeared in the Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge publication. According to the school, “his research focuses on how individuals and organizations confront and overcome challenging situations”. “Why White-Collar Criminals Commit Their Crimes” is an ‘author interview’, Soltes having written Why they do it: Inside the mind of the white-collar criminal. I have not read the book, but suggest that those with continuing responsibility for detecting and/or investigating fraud might want to do so.

 

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The astonishing Wells Fargo fraud

The news about the Wells Fargo staff ‘scam’ (the word used in this article in SC magazine) is mind-boggling. What I found mind-boggling is that (according to CNN Money) Wells Fargo had to fire about 5,300 workers (out of a total staff estimated at 265,000, or 2% of all employees). When 2% of employees were fired, you have to assume that more people knew or should have known. The prevailing Wells Fargo culture in reality was to do what was right for the staff, not the customers!

 

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Data breach protection services: Taxable in Canada?

A recent IRS announcement raises questions about how Canadian tax authorities will treat the free data protection services that organizations often provide in order to mitigate data breaches.

 

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Common anti-fraud controls ineffective at preventing and detecting fraud

A “typical” business can lose five percent of its revenue to fraud according to a recent global fraud study. And organizations are lucky if they detect the fraud at all. Most businesses find out about fraud from a tip, not from strong internal controls.

 

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Lawyers’ commitment to clients’ cause a ‘principle of fundamental justice’

Lawyers are not required to collect client financial information, prepare reports on that information and submit to warrantless searches from the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act

 

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Evans v. The Bank of Nova Scotia: Another case of intrusion upon seclusion is certified as a class action

The new tort of “intrusion upon seclusion”, which provides a cause of action to those whose privacy has been breached, was given new teeth this month by the certification of a class action against the Bank of Nova Scotia and its employee, Richard Wilson.

 

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When should data be encrypted?

When the environment cannot be controlled, encrypting the data is necessary to protect the data against unwarranted disclosure or unauthorized and undetected modification. Note that the Internet is considered a hostile environment…

 

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Using internal control to prevent fraud

Anti-fraud controls mainly apply to the general area of accounting (purchasing, revenue, payroll, banking and treasury, inventory, assets, etc.), but they will also involve many specific areas of operations, such as sales, payments, expenses, receivables, travel, suppliers, taxes, promotions and much more.

 

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What are you doing about employee fraud?

Some cynical people believe that no organization is free from employee fraud. Even small organizations are hardly immune, despite the trust such employers place in their employees and the controls they have in place. Consider these common misconceptions about employee fraud…

 

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The new fraud: where is it coming from and what does it mean?

Businesses can be the target of fraud in numerous ways and from numerous sources. Anyone who does business with an organization is an obvious risk—suppliers, clients, employees, executives—the high profile fraud cases of recent years have mainly been internal. But increasingly, fraudsters have no connection to the organizations they target. They may be after credit card numbers, personal information, cash or goods, and they’re using methods beyond the understanding of the average businessperson. Organizations that do a significant amount of business online must be particularly careful.

 

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Laws not enough to stop fraud

A recent US survey finds that “Business losses due to fraud increased 20% in the last 12 months, from $1.4 million to $1.7 million per billion dollars of sales. … 88% of the respondents reported being victims of corporate fraud over the past 12 months.” Does this worry you?

 

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