New tech is generally welcomed in A/P, but dishonest people can quickly take advantage of it.
That’s what Lockheed Martin discovered when former A/P staffer Timothy Brown sapped the company of $1.4 million.
But after Brown was caught, he confessed every step of his scheme.
And while you know you have a trustworthy team, here’s what A/P managers need to know:
When the company purchased a new system in 2012, Brown was tasked with reconciling old accounts that were still open.
He saw this as an opportunity to make some extra money.
Brown started by looking for vendors that hadn’t sent invoices and had accounts at his personal bank.
From there, he generated fake invoices and swapped the bank account numbers with his own.
Then he moved the fake invoices along like they were legit, eventually netting $1.4 million in three years.
Keep your guard up
This just goes to show how easily someone with access to sensitive information can manipulate it to his or her favor.
Here’s how you can prevent disasters like this from happening at your company:
1. Be careful with new technology. This is especially true during the transition process, when you’re phasing out an old system and training on another.
Take advantage of as many safe guards as possible. If it’s possible to lock sensitive information (like vendor account numbers) with a password, then do so.
2. Get approvers’ attention. We’ve said it before, and we’ll said it again: Approvers have to get on board with invoice fraud prevention. They should be especially wary of invoices that look unusual or too generic.
3. Check your information against Payroll’s. You probably already check your vendor addresses to make sure none of them are the same as any staffers’. If your company offers direct deposit, ask Payroll to see if any vendor bank accounts are the same as any staffers’.