Thinking

Here you’ll find our opinions, viewpoints and rants. But don’t forget to add your comments – good or bad – on anything you like or loathe. We value your feedback.

The ‘Great Potato Fraud of 2012’
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I wrote a few weeks ago of the pride and complacency of the middle management fraudster and the ‘smartest guys in the room’

On a recent ski trip I had met a guy on a chairlift
who proceeded to tell me his approach to ‘supplementing his income’ including “finding suppliers you need on a consistent basis who you can overpay, and get cash back later, minus a ‘consideration’”

Some readers of my blog expressed disbelief at these comments.… Read More

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Perception, Risk and Safeguards
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I gave a talk today at the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Symposium in Washington D.C. We divided the time 60/40 between my presentation and a group discussion on implications, especially for the Insurance industry. We had a lively discussion with CROs and risk professionals and my observations on perception of risk seemed to resonate. … Read More

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Fraud, ‘Smart Guys’ and ‘Better Than Average’
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I was skiing the weekend before last in the Swiss Alps and as luck would have it, a rather interesting conversation developed on a chair lift. A pretty long lift as it happened . . .

The only other person on the chair was a guy who introduced himself as Peter who asked what I did for business.… Read More

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Accounting Regulation Reducing Fraud, Really?
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An article in CFO magazine today announced the opinion that the US ‘Jumpstart Our Business Startups’ (JOBS) Act, whilst easing the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX, Sarbox) standards, might pave the way for fraud. You can read the article here . . .

From my viewpoint, the SOX benchmark has done little to address the causes or even the identification of fraud.… Read More

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Will it make the boat go faster?
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I had a interesting chat with a friend the other day, where he recounted this quote from a world record beating sailor (I forget the name, but it is not critical to the story).

With any new suggestion for additional ‘stuff’ for his craft (especially technology), he would always respond ‘will it make the boat go faster?’.… Read More

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Risk, misplaced confidence, early warning systems and health checks
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I am sitting in a 6th floor office in Manhattan and ruminating between meetings. Over the past couple of years I have talked with numerous finance executives, controllers, risk and control specialists and audit folk on the topic of managing and monitoring risk in the processes that affect the financial statement.… Read More

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May we live in interesting times !
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2011 has been a year of both turmoil and progress in the world and in many businesses. It’s certainly been a roller coaster ride!

Ups and Downs . . . Looking back, January 1st saw Estonia officially adopt the Euro currency and become the seventeenth Eurozone country.… Read More

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Why Controls Monitoring is not enough . . .
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This picture says it all for me. I could stop here . . . .  . 

Controls Monitoring is not enough
 
 

The car park barrier is the ‘control’ over access and use of the car park. The automatic gate opens only when you swipe your employee badge on the reader and it only lets one car through at a time.Read More

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The CFO Agenda and Performance, Risk & Compliance: The Next Chapter
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At the end of last year, I read an excellent book by Jeremy Hope entitled ‘Reinventing the CFO .

The book challenges some long held assumptions about centralisation, planning, budgeting and forecasting as well as the role of the finance function as real business partner.Read More

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Anti-bribery, Corruption and ‘Test Once, Comply Many’
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Tomorrow sees yet another compliance regime, the UK Bribery Act, comes into force. A much debated legislation which remains unclear in parts but reflects and puts even more teeth into the key tenets of the FCPA reglation from the US. Both these regulations have broad arms and don’t limit their interest to UK and US companies.… Read More

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