The statistics are alarming. Businesses, banks, insurance companies, telecoms, utilities, government departments and enterprises that handle funds or sell services are as vulnerable as retailers to fraud and theft, but suffer even more in accidental overpayments, together causing losses of up to 6% annually.
But until recently, uncovering that type of fraud among service providers was much harder to detect and even harder to control.
Now, thanks to a consulting firm that has recovered millions of dollars for Bahamas and Caribbean firms, detection and control are becoming reality, including here where the National Insurance Board was able to use the system to capture and stamp out double entries.
On Thursday, Marlon Cooper, managing director of Symptai Consulting Limited, will be in Nassau to conduct a two-hour workshop expected to be packed with invited guests from financial services, utilities, accounting firms, law offices, hotels and other entities. The event will be held at the British Colonial Hilton at 10 am and is free.
“It’s been estimated by a major accounting firm that it takes an average of 342 days to discover fraud in a workplace and by that time 89% of the proceeds are unrecoverable,” says Cooper, who has trained more than 1,000 audit and control professionals across the Caribbean.
“In companies dealing with products, it’s easier to detect and trace, but in service companies it is much harder to detect. With this software designed by CaseWare, we are able to ensure that good governance structures are in place so that once there is an exception, it’s captured,” says Cooper. “People find creative ways to avoid paying for services.”
Cooper works locally with forensic accountant John S. Bain, whose expertise has assisted in complex court cases, tracing partnerships, settling conflicts, managing civil and criminal matters.
“We take care of the things that keep people up at night,” says Cooper.