In Pursuit of Profit
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High employee turnover can be bad luck, but more often it hints at an underlying problem. That problem may be rushed hiring, a mismatch between the job description and the demands of the role, a poor fit for the role, or inadequate retention incentives.
If you are going through accountants more than every few years, it is time to ask yourself what your company can be doing differently in defining the role, finding the right candidate, supporting the new hire, and retaining an individual in the role.
The 2020 pandemic caused significant change across the business landscape. CEOs and business owners were put to the test as they decided how to strategically navigate the effects of the pandemic. As a result, many business owners have realized certain aspects of their company’s financial operations may shift indefinitely.
As the practice manager for an accounting firm, I’ve been in a unique position throughout the pandemic because I’ve witnessed our client pool expand to include companies that would never have considered using a third-party accounting company to handle their accounting needs before. However, these business owners were put in a difficult position when in-person work was shut down and some key employees had to take time off for sickness or family obligations. Some lost their accountants to virtual school responsibilities, while others were forced to upgrade their desktop accounting systems to cloud-based versions so employees could collaborate remotely.
As a result, business owners have now experienced first-hand that their bookkeeping and accounting work can be performed remotely without having to sacrifice quality and efficiency. In other words, the same value can be realized whether day to day accounting is being performed remotely or onsite.
Let’s look at what business owners are telling our accountants, and what this means for the future of accounting and finance.
What is a fractional accountant and when do you need one?
It may sound cliched, but fractional accountants are whatever you need whenever you need them.
Fractional accountants are the “a la carte” version of accounting professionals. These financial professionals can be hired to do any number of financial functions, handling everything from financial reporting and cash flow management to tax preparation and internal controls. They can do part-time work, project work, and interim assignments while working on-site, off-site, or a combination of the two. Essentially, a fractional accountant can provide as much or as little work as you need.
Most often though, fractional accountants are brought in to assist existing accounting teams, work on special projects, and supplement software systems.
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ Report to the Nations reveals that on average companies lose 5% of their annual revenue to fraud with a median loss per case of $125,000 and an average loss per case of just over $1.5M.
The report further elaborates that more than half of businesses never recover any of the lost funds.
While only 20% of fraud is reportedly committed by business owners (compared to 41% by individual contributors and 35% by managers), the cost of owner-run fraud schemes cost their businesses 10 times more on average than fraud cases committed by lower-level employees.
The average perpetrator of fraudulent crimes has been with the company for 1-5 years and engages in their fraudulent activity for 14 months before being detected. And small businesses typically carry a higher fraud risk than their larger counterparts with twice the rate of billing fraud and payroll fraud and four times the rate of check and payment tampering.
No one wants to believe that fraud could be happening at their company, but these statistics tell the true story – fraud is far more widespread than many people think.
So, how does this kind of fraud occur and why is the risk of fraud higher this year than previous years? And most importantly, how do you identify fraud and what can you do to prevent it?