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The current state of affairs amid covid19 warrants that Accountants stay alert when it comes to due-diligence to ensure there are now fraudulent activities are being conducted while Companies allow their employees to WFH – work from home.
The current scenarios can lead to fraudulent activities as the Companies are still finding ways to work remotely. Online Intruders may find this as an opportunity to intrude into Company’s website & steal data.
If the internal control processes are not robust enough to alleviate such fraudulent activities, then Companies may find themselves at the forefront of financial embezzlements & loss of working capital which would be crucial in the current set of circumstances.
The role of whistle-blowers is therefore imperative as far as due-diligence on the part of Professional Accountants is concerned.
Accountant should remain alert in the current set of circumstances & envisage if the internal controls put in practice in their very Company are robust enough to mitigate the risks of material misstatement whether due to fraud or error.
e.g. the process of ‘authorisation’ should not be undermined even in the ‘lockdown’ Companies may use online software #docusign to allow digital authorisation by business stakeholders to ensure there is no room for complacency on the part of the Company & internal controls are adhered to.
As far as HRM – Human resource management is concerned: Company may utilise the online #on-boarding applications to allow fully integrated & compliance based on boarding e.g. online training of new employee about Company code of conduct, introduction to I.T protocols, & Ways of working.
The Auditors should also be alert to potential fraud possibility & professional scepticism should be emphasised. They may deploy more substantive procedures (tests of controls) to ensure there are no instances of financial embezzlements given the current potential for fraud.
Accountancy support staff undertaking the bookkeeping tasks [employee expense reimbursements] should be vigilant as far as authorisation process is concerned & escalate any overriding of controls to Senior Management as soon as feasible.