Fraud in Accounts Payable: How to Prevent It / Edition 1

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"Fraud and murder have a lot in common. If you've seen even a few detective shows or movies, you know there are three factors for identifying the murderer: means, motive, and opportunity. Alas, the same is true for fraud."
—From Fraud in Accounts Payable

It's an undeniable fact of corporate lifeâ??fraud happensâ?'and it is particularly likely to take place in accounts payable because of this department's easy access to the organization's money. Fraud in Accounts Payable is written with a two-fold goal—to make fraud so difficult within an organization that potential perpetrators give up and take their efforts elsewhere and to provide auditors, controllers, managers, and executives with the best practice tools to detect fraud and get it out of their organizations.

A realistic and unflinching look at corporate fraud, this practical guide pulls the curtain back on fraud in accounts payable, revealing that every organization is vulnerable to it, as well as the appropriate steps professionals can take to both detect and prevent it. Myths such as "fraud could never happen to my business" or "I trust my employees—they would never steal from me" are confronted and dissolved with coverage of:

  • Occupational fraud
  • Internal controls and paper checks
  • Check fraud: still a huge problem
  • Electronic payment fraud
  • Petty cash fraud
  • Vendor and invoice fraud
  • Payroll fraud
  • Telecom fraud

No organization can afford to take the issue of fraud lightly. This is required reading for every professional, whether their organization is a small business or a large corporation. Fraud in Accounts Payable will help organizations know the appropriate steps to both detect fraud and prevent it in the accounts payable department—before it eats away at the bottom line.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The author has significant experience in this area and offers compelling best practices to detect and prevent fraud from occurring within your organization. This book goes a long way to get your organization thinking and acting to detect and prevent fraud." (, October 2008)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470260456
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/9/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary S. Schaeffer is a nationally recognized accounts payable expert. She is the founder and Editorial Director of Accounts Payable Now & Tomorrow, a newsletter for professionals interested in payment issues. She is the author of twelve books and has written hundreds of articles that have appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Corporate Cashflow, Treasury & Risk, Business Credit, the Writer, Newsday, and She has an MBA in finance and is a member of the New York Financial Writers' Association. She is a regular contributor to AICPA's Corporate Finance Insider publication.

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Table of Contents




1. Profiles of Fraud in the Business World.

Three Big Myths.

Fraud Statistics.

Occupational Fraud: It's a Big Problem.

Definitions and Frequency.

Who Gets Hit the Hardest?

How Fraud Is Detected.

Who Commits Occupational Fraud?

To Prosecute or Not.

Is Fraud an Equal Opportunity Crime?

Fraud in the Eyes of the Beholder.

Effect of Status of Fraudster.

Big Boss Issue.

Why Do Insiders Steal?

Conditions that Permit Frauds to Occur.

Why Aren't More Fraudsters Prosecuted?

Fraud in the Real World.

Concluding Thoughts.

2. Check Fraud: Still a Huge Problem.

Internal Controls to Prevent Check Fraud by Insiders.

Recommended Controls.

What Else Can You Do?

How Bad Is the Check Fraud Problem?

What Does the Law Say?

Impact on Accounts Payable.

What Should You Do?

Positive Pay and Its Cousins.

Internal Controls, Segregation of Duties, and Positive Pay Exceptions.

Internal Controls and Paper Checks.

What Can Go Wrong.

Consequences of Poor Internal Check Production Processes.

The Right Way.

The Best Way.

Questions that Reveal Your Internal Check Controls.

Best Check-Handling Practices between Printing and Mailing.

Mailing Checks.

From Printing to Mailing: Do You Know Where Your Checks Are?

When the Checks Are Signed and Returned.

Wire Transfers.

Rebate and Refund Checks.

Rush Checks.

Why Returning Checks to Requisitioners Can Be a Problem.

How Companies Handle Check Return Requests by Requisitioners.

Fraud in the Real World.

Concluding Thoughts.

3. Check Stock: Stop the Fraudsters' Presses.

Security Features in Your Check Stock.

What Else?

Some Check Fraud Security Features.

A Word about Void Pantographs.

Void Pantographs and Positive Pay.

Fraud in the Real World.

Concluding Thoughts.

4. P-Card: Not as Big an Issue as You Might Think.

Printing of the Invoice.

Start Off on the Right Foot.

Policy and Procedures Manual.

Spell Out Consequences.

Require Documentation.

Don't Overlook Receipts.

Role of a Program Administrator in Fraud Prevention.

Approvals and Compliance.

Role of Limits with Respect to Fraud.

Train, Train, and Then Train Again.

What About Inappropriate Use?

Fraud in the Real World.

Closing Thoughts.

5. Electronic Payment Fraud: Not a Growth Industry—Yet!

ACH Blocks.

ACH Filters.

ACH Positive Pay.

Payment Account Data: Is It Accurate?

Ach Data Accuracy: Real-Life Solutions to a Very Practical Problem.

CPA's Perspective.

Fraud in the Real World.

Closing Thoughts.

6. Desktop Fraud: Few Think About This—But Everyone Should.





Lovallo's Guidelines.

Bringing It All Together.

Fraud in the Real World.

Concluding Thoughts.

7. Travel and Entertainment Fraud: Not All Your Employees Are Honest.

The Book that Teaches Your Employees How to Steal.

Danger Signs.

Other T&E Scams.

Drawing a Line.

Latest T&E Issue: Verifying Boarding Passes Printed at Home.

Solutions to the Boarding Pass Issue.

T&E Fraud Prevention Best Practices.

Detecting Expense Reimbursement Fraud.

Uniform Enforcement of the T&E Policy.

What to Do When Expense Reimbursement Fraud Is Detected.

Last-Ditch Collection Efforts.

Fraud in the Real World.

Closing Thoughts.

8. Petty Cash Fraud: Petty Indeed.

Petty Cash Awful Practices.

How Much Money Should the Box Have?

Petty Cash Box.

Surprise Audits.

Where Does Responsibility for the Box Lie?

Do We Still Need Petty Cash?

Receipt Review.

Petty Cash versus T&E.

Fraud in the Real World.

Concluding Thoughts.

9. Vendor and Invoice Fraud: Not Every Invoice (Or Vendor!) Is Legit.

Fraudulent Invoices—or Not.

Solicitations that Look Like Invoices.

Other Common Invoice Frauds.

Fraud and Poor Payment Practices.

A Word about Collusion.

Brief Commentary on Purchasing.

Up-Front Vendor Verification.

Control Challenge in Real Life.

Advice from the Better Business Bureau.

Fraud in the Real World.

Concluding Thoughts.

10. Master Vendor File Fraud: How Employees Play Games with Your Records.

Some Really Bad Master Vendor File Practices.

Master Vendor File Reports.

Coding Standards Prevent Fraud.

Cleansing the Master Vendor File.

Who Has Responsibility for the Master Vendor File.

A New System.

Master Vendor File and Your Employees.

Fraud in the Real World.

Closing Thoughts.

11. Payroll Fraud: Ghostbusting and More.

Phantom Employees.

What You Can Do to Detect and Prevent Ghost Employees.

Falsified Hours and/or Salary.

What You Can Do to Detect and Prevent Employees from Falsifying Data.

Commission Schemes.

False Workers' Compensation Claims.

Some Overall Prevention Tactics.

Fraud in the Real World.

Concluding Thoughts.

12. Telecom Fraud: Yes, It Can Happen to You.

Types of Phone Fraud.

Nuisance Fraud.

Examples of Cramming.

Getting Refunds and Combating Cramming.


Phone System and Voice Mail Fraud.

Social Engineering Fraud.

Call Forwarding/Conferencing Problems.

VOIP Fraud.

Fraud in the Real World.

Concluding Thoughts.


13. Best Practices—Not: Tactics that Unintentionally Promote Fraud.

Closing Thoughts.

14. Fraud Monitoring Reports: A Necessary Evil.

Automated Monitoring.

How Anyone Can Run Reports.

A Word about More Sophisticated Monitoring.

How Much Checking Is Enough?

The Big Report Everyone Should Run.

The Easy Report.

Other Fraud Detection Reports.

The ACT List.

Closing Thoughts.

15. Fraud Detection and Prevention: Simple Tactics You Can Use.

2006 Report to the Nation Fraud Detection.

PricewaterhouseCoopers 2007 Global Economic Crime Survey Fraud Detection.

Anonymous Hotlines.

What Companies Can Do to Prevent Fraud.

Simple Tactics to Make Sure No One Robs the Till on Your Watch.

Fraud in the Real World.

Closing Thoughts.

16. Sarbanes-Oxley.


Overview of the Act.

Sarbanes-Oxley Survey.

Impact of the Act on Accounts Payable Operations.

Outside Influences.

Functions Improved.

T&E Reimbursement and Review Processes.

Internal Audit Reviews.

Backup for Check Requests.

Records Retention Policy.

1099 Reporting.


Master Vendor File.

Other Regulatory Concerns.

Using the Act to Enforce Needed Change.

The Act and Its Effects on Private Companies.

Whistle-Blower Protections.

The Anonymous Hotline.

Concluding Thoughts.

Appendix A: Fraud Schemes: Physical and Virtual Checks.

Appendix B: 2007 Top Frauds.

Appendix C: Segregation of Duties.

AppendixD: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 Titles.



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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2012


    Nu...but im eepy.....tristans stillon........night ily

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2012


    Good night! Adeui! Farewell! I love ya! *blows kisses and model waves*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2008

    A Real Eye-Opener

    Great book filled with insightful advice and hair raising stories. Any executive who thinks fraud could never happen at their company should read this book. It is a real eye-opener.

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    Posted September 16, 2009

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