Archives for December 2012

How to Reduce Internal Fraud

In all businesses, having effective internal controls is very valuable. How do you know that your practices are effective? What can you as a business owner do to deter fraud in your business? Having effective internal controls will help your business keep up with the fast pace of the changing business practices. The following questions can help companies examine their internal controls to help prevent fraud.

Which businesses need to protect themselves against fraud?

No company, big or small, is immune to fraud. All the companies that have experienced fraud have one thing in common: they did not think that they were susceptible to fraud.

Businesses, especially smaller businesses, require employees to perform multiple tasks are at a greater risk of internal fraud. Businesses that cannot separate “conflicting tasks” increase the chance of fraud. When these tasks are separated, perpetrators are required to work together to steal from the company, which is harder to do then a single person doing all the tasks.

In larger business with more staff, tasks are separate, but perpetrators will still look for loopholes in the system. When owners are lax with monitoring, and given the opportunity weaknesses are exploited.

What Condition Motivates Internal Fraud?

When a perpetrator meets poorly designed and monitored internal controls, fraud happens. Companies should work to design proper controls, and be attentive in monitoring their effectiveness. The controls should be adapted to changing practices in the business, and not be ignored when the business becomes too busy to implement them. Owners need to be aware of internal controls and make them propriety to deter employees who might commit fraud.

How Can Companies Prevent Internal Fraud?

To help reduce the chances for fraud, companies must take a “top down” approach. Modeling and exhibiting the greatest degree of integrity set the tone for the company. Owners that do not uphold any level of integrity with aspects of the company cannot expect their employees to do so either.

When assessing controls, companies should identify areas with the biggest risk. Implement controls to shore up vulnerabilities uncovered in the assessment. Have a certified CPA audit financial records and procedures to determine where weaknesses are in the company. If the CPA specializes in fraud, this is especially helpful in determining what controls should be implemented to prevent fraud. Controls should be monitored and review regularly to truly reduce the likelihood of fraud.

Here at Crowley & Halloran CPA’s, our consultants would be happy to help you plan and manage your business budget. Click here to request a proposal.

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Frugal is Not a Kind of Fruit

Christmas BellsThe minute someone starts talking about frugality and budgets, people tend slide into oblivion and begin snoring. The thing is, being thrifty or economical or scrimpy or just plain cheap is the only thing helping people keep their heads above the water.

Everyone, in our current economy crisis, seems to have at least a little pinch where spending is concerned. There are many ways to help live within your means and the ideas are practical and useful for daily life.

Get a Deep Freezer

This practical appliance will enable a family to purchase meat and vegetables in bulk and at discount and keep it good for months to come. Even fresh foods can be frozen on a cookie sheet and then transferred to containers and stored.

Deli Meat vs. Whole

If you enjoy making sandwiches with deli meat, the most cost effective way to purchase it would be to buy a whole ham and ask the grocery store deli to slice it for you. Use some and freeze the rest. Buying just a few slices at a time ends up costing you three times as much.

Direct Deposit/Debit

Our culture has gone the way of automation. This can be a beneficial tool for keeping within your budget. Banks often have options to withdraw chosen amounts from your paycheck and put it into savings and even your bills get deducted right away so you don’t have to worry about spending money allotted for something else.

Make Friends with Local Growers

Sometimes a local orchard has such an excess of product that they want to unload it. Make an arrangement to pay a flat fee to pick your own produce and save money in the process. Can or freeze extra.

Price Shop

You do it when getting ready to make a large purchase like electronics, why not for food? Visit your local stores, even some which are further away, and take a list of the staples you use in your house. You will find that certain stores have items that are generally cheaper than anywhere else and shop around. Then stock up when you find a sale.

Cook Smart

Find recipes that are hearty and savory and last several meals. You will find that you can feed a family of four for several evenings at $1-$2 for each person.

Revive Old Clothing

Everyone has those old sweaters or skirts that keep you warm, but have those irritating fuzzies all over. Rather than discard them or pass them off to Goodwill, there is a way to revive them for future use. Using a razor to take off the pillings will give your clothing a brand new lifespan and save you money on your wardrobe.

Clean your House

Now, how does that save you money exactly? If you pick up and wipe down, your home will not collect all the grime requiring the expensive cleaners.

Check your Bills

This may be a no-brainer, but people have spent money they didn’t need to by simply failing to check their bills with the phone company, cable and internet and not catching mistakes.

Winter-proof Your Home

Energy efficiency is important to keeping down your gas and electric bills. A simple way to save money is to buy insulation for your windows and cover them during cold weather.

There are so many creative ways to live a frugal life without pinching pennies and being stressed out.

Here at Crowley & Halloran CPA’s, our consultants would be happy to help you plan and manage your business budget. Click here to request a proposal.

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