Achieving Strong Internal Controls Should be the Goal of your Organization
Ipsen Management Services (IMS) consults to business and nonprofits, saving them money by improving their internal controls. The results include increased operational efficiency and a reduction in the likelihood of fraud from occurring. Ipsen Management Services can help you!
Working with your organization, IMS strengthens your internal controls by: conducting a fraud risk assessment working with management on matters of employee assessment, segregation of duties, physical controls, and on ways to prevent falling victim to skimming and larceny schemes, check tampering, cash register schemes, purchasing and billing schemes, payroll schemes, expense schemes, theft of inventory and equipment, theft of proprietary information, theft of client data, fraudulent use of credit cards, conflicts of interest, corruption and fraudulent financial reporting.
An internal control is a process by which an entity attempts to prevent or minimize the likelihood of accounting-related errors, irregularities, and illegal acts. Internal controls help safeguard funds, provide efficient and effective management of assets, and permit accurate financial accounting. Internal controls cannot eliminate all errors and irregularities, but they can alert management to potential problems.
YOU WILL NOT BE ASKED TO OPEN YOUR BOOKS. THE GOAL IS TO STRENGTHEN YOUR INTERNAL CONTROLS!
ALL DISCUSSIONS AND WORK ARE CONFIDENTIAL AND WILL NOT BE SHARED.
Four reasons to remember why your current internal controls need to be reevaluated: a.) Controls might have been eliminated due to restructuring efforts; b.) Controls might have been overlooked due to mergers and acquisitions; c.) Controls might have been eroded over time due to reengineering of business processes and finally; d.) Controls need to be evaluated from opportunities arising from collusion.
The fraud risk assessment is aimed at identifying and addressing your organization's vulnerabilities from both internal and external sources that are in motion to cause you financial harm. Please remember, there is no "one-size-fits-all approach. Such risks continually change. Therefore, it is vital that a risk assessment be considered an ongoing continuous process rather than just a one-time occurrence.
IMS also responds to allegations of fraud by employing forensic accounting methods to detect irregularities within financial statements and the General Ledger. The examination involves using data analytics software, ratio analysis and quantitative tools such as Benford's Law and the Beneish Model. When the need arises to review thousands of entries, these tools assist the fraud examiner looking for both unusual relationships and anomalies that may indicate fraudulent activity.
Areas where forensic examination is effective include: the discovery of fraudulent billing and reimbursement schemes, the misclassification of assets, revenues and the wrongful capitalization of expenses. In addition, we examine both accounts receivable and payable, inventory write downs, bid rigging, vendor and payroll fraud, multiple invoice submissions, false claims, unauthorized withdrawals, overbilling, bribery and kickback schemes, conflicts of interests and questionable transactions between affiliates.
- Commercial Real Estate Lenders and Developers requiring due diligence will benefit from the assistance of IMS.
- Business owners having questions regarding vendor billing, cost of goods or ghost employees and are looking for answers should contact IMS!
- IMS works with corporate and individual donors in need of due diligence for the nonprofits they support. In addition, nonprofits can benefit by wanting to strengthen their own internal controls. This can be accomplished through proper examination and the implementation of various fraud prevention measures.
- Ipsen Management Services (IMS) is available to HOA portfolio managers seeking due diligence of smaller community associations and boards of directors.
- Homeowners paying dues according to their respective HOA guidelines have the right to demand accountability. This includes reasonable access and an inspection of records. If you suspect a misuse of funds or other fraudulent activity by your HOA management company, IMS recommends that you retain the services of an attorney before calling for help. Amounts totaling more than several hundred thousand dollars are not uncommon.
The mission of the CFE is to gather evidence, take statements, write reports, and assist in investigating fraud in its varied forms. CFEs are employed by many major corporations, government agencies, consulting firms and investigative service organizations.
My practice focuses on the improvement of internal controls within an organization followed by due diligence and examination. Strong internal controls prove to prevent and reduce losses due to a misuse of funds, theft and fraudulent activity.
- Jerry Ipsen, CFE, MBA
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