Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced), a leading business applications and services provider, is warning the not-for-profit sector about the dangers of internal fraud and is advising that more needs to be done to prevent it.
The warning follows the case of Oxfam’s former head of counter-fraud, who last week admitted defrauding the charity of nearly £65,000. The employee’s actions were brought to light by Oxfam’s robust counter-fraud measures but Advanced has highlighted that not all charities may have such strong systems in place.
The latest high profile case follows figures from the National Fraud Authority which estimates the UK charity sector could lose up to £1.3 billion annually – with the *Charity Commission also warning of significant under-reporting in this area.
A separate *report by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP, predicts the wider UK economy loses £85.3 billion to fraud every year, with this figure rising significantly since 2008.
To help businesses identify and prevent fraud, Advanced has developed Forensix to alert managers about any unusual or fraudulent activity within their organisation. The intuitive software provides an extra layer of security within Advanced’s OpenAccounts financial management system and is able to identify a ‘suspect’ computer.
Simon Fowler, Managing Director of Advanced Business Solutions, said: “All organisations are exposed to fraud, but when it happens to a charity or good cause, it can be particularly shocking. The case of Oxfam, one of the UK’s largest charities, serves as a reminder that all organisations, must take steps to protect themselves.”
In 2011, research by accountancy firm KPMG uncovered a dramatic increase in the number of fraudulent cases involving the exploitation of weak internal controls – up to 74% in 2011 from 49% in 2007. This research suggests many organisations are not adequately protecting themselves from internal fraud.
Fowler said: “Unfortunately recent studies have shown that internal fraud seems to be growing. However, with the right measures in place it can be prevented and I would advise that any organisation that handles public funds or donated money should invest in anti-fraud software.”
Advanced’s Forensix software detects a range of potentially fraudulent activities such as write-offs, discounts and employees making unusual financial arrangements with external suppliers. Unusual activities are automatically flagged for the attention of management. The software is available for the public and private sectors, as well as the not-for-profit industry.
Fowler added: “Many businesses are reluctant to talk about internal fraud, however it can and does happen and so they need to protect themselves by seeking advice from quality software providers. Without the implementation of smart fraud prevention systems, businesses will remain vulnerable and with all indicators suggesting that internal fraud is on the increase, this is an issue that needs tackling promptly.”
* Click here for the BDO research.
About Advanced Business Solutions www.advancedcomputersoftware.com/abs
Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) provides leading integrated business applications and services that enable public, private and third sector organisations to retain control, improve visibility and gain efficiencies whilst continually improving corporate performance. Advanced prides itself on getting close to its customers by understanding their businesses and responding to their evolving needs.
Advanced’s software systems comprise core accounting/financial management, procurement, supply chain management, human resource and payroll systems, integrated with a range of collaborative, document management and business intelligence solutions to extend the value and effectiveness of the finance, human resource and payroll departments.
Management information systems for school and academies are also provided through Advanced’s subsidiary, Advanced Learning. Advanced also provides specialist vertical solutions for the not-for-profit and legal markets. All solutions can be delivered as a managed or bureau service.
Customers are from both the public and private sectors and include Companies House, Newcastle City Council, NHSScotland, Norfolk Constabulary, Edge Hill University, WH Smith, Royal Bank of Scotland, Aer Lingus, National Express Group, DFS and RSPB.
Advanced Business Solutions is a division of Advanced Computer Software Group plc, a leading supplier of software and IT services to the health, care and business services sectors.
Angela Mycock & Robert Downes
Advanced Computer Software Group
+44(0)1625 856 513
Advanced Computer Software
Tel: 01625 856 513