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Everyone is vulnerable to invoice fraud even banks

Everyone is vulnerable to invoice fraud. Lloyds TSB in the UK took a hit after one its workers was found to have submitted false invoice payments over a period of four years, before laundering the proceeds. Jessica Harper, who was responsible  for online security at the bank, pleaded guilty to defrauding her employer of over £2.4m between February 2008 and December 2011.

Sources of invoice fraud
Invoice fraud can affect any company, and fraudsters can be extremely sophisticated in their methods. It can involve originating suppliers' counterfeit invoices, falsely inflated prices, or internal unauthorised T&E spend, and paying the wrong supplier, failing to check whether the goods have actually been received and paying duplicate invoices. Plus manual transaction processing inevitably opens up the scope for human error and therefore, the amount of times that fraud will go unnoticed.

Tackling invoice fraud
The first step is to address the culture. Make your staff aware of the seriousness of the issue. Whenever something suspicious arises, check it, double check it and bring it to the attention of a colleague if something doesn't match up. Rewarding caution over efficiency in this area may go a long way to preventing preventable mistakes. The second step is to invest in an automated system which will reduce costs and improved efficiency. e-Invoicing software, for example, incorporates a variety of controls into the process, such as a three-way  matches.

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