Management and Consulting Services

Where From Here?

5/8/2012

Accounting-Series-HELP-4440373

OK,  we all know the definition of insanity.

As a matter of fact, I recall a similar quote on some t-shirts I purchased a long time ago: “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you always got.” On numerous occasions, this space has been devoted to pointing out the obvious, discussing what we know (from our own experiences, from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, and from multiple other “experts”):

  • Tips are the best source of uncovering fraud (employee, customer, vendor, “anonymous”)
  • The reason Tips are the best source is because those people know the business processes the best…and they know when someone is working to “go around them.”
  • “Tone at the Top” is a misnomer; it does not work…especially when there’s “fraud at the top.”
  • And we know:
    • The costliest frauds are committed by existing, in-place executives…
    • …And the most prevalent purveyors of perpetration are: Accounting, Operations, Sales, Upper Management, Customer Service, and Purchasing…in that order.

The question of the day for management (and for all those responsible, accountable, and leadership-employees) in our organizations is: As functional management, internal audit, compliance officers, supervisors, key contributors/key employees, subject matter experts, internal counsel, advisors, public accounting firm resources, specialists, etc.: “What are we doing different today, vs. before we knew these things?”  IF…we have not changed behavior; increased awareness; taken “lessons-learned” from the back-end to up-front initiatives of prevention/detection; communicated expectations to our business-process-experts; “on-ramped our new people differently,” and so on, then, what is it that we ARE doing? We have to go looking for: wastefulness, poor productivity, under-performance, improvement areas…because we know we’ll improve things…but we have to act. If we haven’t done things that have been proven to work…well, that sounds like insanity to me.