An organization of Australian bookkeepers believes that there is a need to look into a study that focuses on bookkeeper fraud in the correct light.
This followed after forensic accounting firm Warfield and Associates released a study conducted between 2005-2011 on 65 fraud convictions among bookkeepers employed at small and medium-sized businesses in Australia. In these cases, the total amount of money lost by companies due to theft was $31 million.
It was noted by Brett Warfield that though most bookkeepers are honest with their work, those who committed mistakes had enormous negative impacts on the employers. Aside from losing millions in investments, the companies had to lay off staff and had to sell off assets.
In effect, the members of the Association of Accounting Technicians are reacting for the reason that this research may imply a high motivation of bookkeepers to commit fraud.
According to Robert Hutt of AAT Australia, “Sixty five cases of fraud over a six-year period compared to the millions of accounts prepared over that time is a very small proportion of the work completed by all bookkeepers in Australia.”
He added that there are 16,000 BAS agents registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB). The number of bookkeepers who have committed fraud is very little. He continued by saying that the TPB and the AAT Australia have worked very closely to raise the standards of bookkeepers and that bookkeepers keep a higher standard today than they did before.
He concluded it by saying that “the best defence against fraud of any kind is ensuring your business has appropriate procedures in place and that there are checks and balances in relation to financial issues.”
News Source: The Sidney Morning Herald »