Are you sure you have adequate oversight for your AP department? The city of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin thought they did, but that oversight failed to the tune of $240,000 of taxpayer money being funneled into electronics and other personal purchases for some of the city's MIS department employees.
"The whistleblower and only remaining MIS member from the time Beveridge was in charge, Kathryn Treleven, testified Thursday about how former MIS employee Jon Lippert tried to bring her into the false invoicing scheme.”
Corporations are just as vulnerable. The vast majority of invoices still come through the AP department in paper form, still lack automated processing and tracking, and slowly wind their way through to payment without effective reinforcement of business rules and standards. It's scary to think what kind of damage even one unscrupulous employee can cause without appropriate oversight in place to catch or prevent criminal activity.
For the city of Fond du Lac, a lesson was learned … including, perhaps, a reminder for their managers not to hand out their personal passwords to employees who then run a massive scam to defraud public funds. A little bit of common sense would have gone a long way toward preventing or stopping the activity in the first place, but, in the absence of that, setting up departmental and approval rules in an invoice management system can help catch or halt non-compliant purchases. In any case, the city is now able to take a careful look at the situation, identify where they can shore up security, and take appropriate action to ensure taxpayer money is never abused like that again.
I’m sure corporate shareholders would appreciate the same effort…in a more proactive fashion.