26 Sep 2011 e-invoicing and the automation of fraud
You’re implementing AP automation but before you press the START button – take a step back and ask yourself these questions. Are your purchase to pay processes as water tight as they can be? Do you always know that you pay for goods and services that were actually delivered? Can you be absolutely sure that no one in your organization is likely to commit fraud? And finally, do you realize that as soon as you press the START button on your AP automation, fraud can be automated too?
Friso de Jong recently wrote an insightful article 8 Crucial Tips to Avoid paying Fake e-invoices. Although Friso focuses on acquisition fraud (which has a very specific meaning in the context of VAT fraud), the advice relates to general invoice fraud and the piece outlines a sensible set of pragmatic measures that businesses can take to mitigate the risk of invoice fraud. The article makes a really good point. The aim of e-invoicing maybe to automate AP processes but if those process aren’t as safe as they should be, fraud will be automated too.
Fraud happens. We all like to think that nobody within our supplier community or our own organization would perpetrate fraud against us. Indeed, we’d all like to think that we are all personally not capable of fraud. But it’s a sad fact that wherever there is a vulnerability in a business process, someone, for whatever reason, will attempt to take advantage of it and they will often succeed. This is why it’s important to ensure that a thorough review of purchase to pay processes is undertaken as part of any AP automation or e-invoicing project.