About Board and Fraud

Board and Fraud is a blog that aims to bring a practical approach to issues facing the board of directors and the audit committee specifically in the area of governance, risk management, compliance, and internal audit, with a strong focus on fraud, ethics, and internal controls.

Skepticism – A Key Tool in the Fight Against Fraud

“Trust but verify” could be a downright dangerous approach when applied to audit procedures in particular. A much better slogan for fraud deterrence would be, “Trust is a professional hazard.”

The implication is that because financial management plays a leading role in detecting financial fraud, it is incumbent on executives – not just auditors – to exercise appropriate levels of professional skepticism. Board members and particularly audit committee members also must take care to exercise a skeptical approach to financial reports and supporting information.

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e-Guide for Chief Compliance Officers

This e-book is intended as a guide for Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) and those responsible for developing and implementing compliance policies and procedures for an organization. Compliance, when done properly and embraced fully, should be seen as a necessary business process. It is our vision that companies have more than a best-in-class compliance program going forward.
The time is now for companies to take the next step up to make compliance a part of the business process of the organization. This would not only allow companies to meet the Department of Justice’s requirement that compliance programs be more fully operationalized, but it is our firm belief that a more effective compliance program will make the company’s internal controls operate more efficiently and enable it to operate more profitably. With the increased efficiencies for compliance offered by data analytics and AI, a robust compliance program can demonstrate internal commercial inefficiencies which can be remediated for greater return from assets.

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Tone From the Top, the Next Level

As a result of COVID-19, the Board of Directors and Senior Management are challenged to monitor the cultural shifts of their organization and adjust their sensitivity and the frequency of communications as appropriate.

Leaders should always try to find ways to talk and engage with their people to motivate them, especially during these uncertain and trying times. If done correctly, talking can be incredibly powerful. It can help relieve anxiety (defined as “a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome”) and help people find the strength they didn’t know was in them. Studies have shown that talking shuts down the brain’s fear center.

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Baker Tilly’s 2019 Effective Governance and Compliance Roundtable Series – May 1, 2019 – CPE Event in Philadelphia -Using Continuous Auditing and Monitoring in the Fight Against Fraud

Organizations are under increasing scrutiny regarding ethical lapses and allegations of fraud. Fiscal year 2018 was a record-breaking year for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s whistleblower program, as more and more individuals have been coming forward with allegations of impropriety. Come learn how to use continuous auditing and monitoring in the fight against fraud – or help improve your compliance program!

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Hidden Assets and Illegal Payments

Stuffed animals, loose bricks in basement walls, mattresses, caves, hollow tree trunks, holes in the ground, and safe deposit boxes have provided hiding spots.

Today, hiding assets may be a much more sophisticated endeavor, often involving investments, banks, and overseas financial transactions.

Investigators should consider using a defined process to pursue matters that involve a search for hidden assets and illegal payments.

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Fraud Tip Friday: Small Dollars, Big Problems

Last week, a Transit supervisor and five others were charged in connection with a scheme to steal over $2 million from the agency. The kicker: the payments were under the limit of $5,000 – roughly speaking, that’s over 400 payments!

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Combating Fraud Through Effective Internal Controls

“Fraud is not an accounting problem; it is a social phenomenon.” Joe Wells

Most companies will not readily admit that their organizations may be vulnerable to fraud.
According to the 2020 Report to the Nations published by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (“ACFE”), which contains an analysis of approximately 2,500 cases of occupational fraud that were investigated between January 2018 and September 2019, organizations lose 5% of their annual revenues to fraud. While this number is only a general estimate based on the opinion, it represents the collective observations of anti-fraud experts who together have investigated hundreds of thousands of fraud cases. Based on the ACFE’s study, the median loss caused by frauds was $125,000, with 21.0% of the cases resulting in losses of at least $1 million.

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Jonathan T. Marks, CPA, CFF, CFE

Partner, Firm Practice Leader – Global Fraud & Forensic Investigations, Compliance, & Integrity Services

Jonathan T. Marks is the original author and producer of Board and Fraud. He specializes in global and complex corporate investigations (White Collar Crime) and other investigations. He has 30+ years of experience working closely with clients, their board, audit committees, senior management, internal audit, compliance, legal & outside law firms on global and domestic fraud, misconduct, cyber incidents, bribery, money laundering, whistleblowers, retaliation matters, and conducting investigations when appropriate (10A, books and records, cross-border, FCPA, regulatory etc.). Jonathan determines economic damages, performs root cause analysis, develops remedial procedures, and designs and enhances governance, global risk management and compliance systems along with internal controls and policies and procedures. He also monitors tactics to mitigate future potential issues and testifies in the court-of-law when called upon. 

To learn more about what Jonathan T. Marks, or the Global Fraud and Forensic Investigation team and their services, select the button below.

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