Credit Matters

Invaluable Reading From Australia and Around The World

Contributing to our position as Australia’s premium Financial Risk Management resource, our management globally explores and surveys relevant and valuable articles published by respected professionals, academics and organisation. The articles offered here are suggested reading for any Business Owner and Financial Risk Management professional.

Invaluable Reading From Australia and Around The World

Fraud & Criminality

How to identify a bad client: 5 warning signs to look out for

Patrick Coghlan

13 Dec 2018

The author Patrick Coghlan has prepared a brief introduction on five warning signs that indicate you may be dealing with a potential bad debt.

One of the key issues in business is to understand the signs which indicate a potential or existing customer may leave your business with a bad debt.

If you are unfamiliar with the indicators of a bad debt, or just need a refresher on the indicators of the causes of a bad debt, this article may worth reading.

Why People Engage in White-Collar Crime

Robin Singh

30 Oct 2018

The author Robin Singh has provided useful insights on why people engage in white-collar crimes.

As you read through this article, you will note there are many complex issues which make white-collar crime a fascinating subject in its own right. This is notwithstanding its horrendous cost to the community, organisations and to individuals who might be both victims and perpetrators.

As the article covers a number of topics with appropriate stories, I suggest this may be a valuable read for those interested in the concept of white-collar crime and coming to grips with its complexity.

Organisational culture and leadership is at the heart of any defence against corruption

Cheryl Batagol

9 Oct 2018

Cheryl Batgol has written on the value of a positive culture in the public sector and how a positive culture helps in its fight against fraud. The author also believes a positive culture assists to reduce decisions which could reflect badly on the public sector organisation and lead to negative consequences for the organisation in the future.

In addition, the author has put forward the proposition that organisations with positive organisational cultures are more focussed on long term thinking and strategy. In these environments, not only is innovation valued, people and relationships are also seen as vital elements in the success of the organisation.

The issues raised in this article for a positive organisation culture, are focused on the public sector organisation. The fact is, a positive culture also applies for a business. As is well documented, one of the key aspects of why fraud is possible in a business, is because of poor organisational culture.

Therefore, this article may be of value to those business people who wish to work towards creating a positive culture in their business to reduce fraud and poor decision making.

 

Contracts must be built on ethics, because they can even confuse lawyers like me

Clare Payne

30 Sep 2018

Claire Payne's article about contracts appears to be based on those prepared for the banking and finance industries. Notwithstanding this focus, many of the issues raised by the author also apply in the B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) environments when extending credit or completing customer projects.

There have been many changes to Legislation and a focus on unfair contracts in recent times. The author's article is a timely warning that your business contracts need to be both relevant and ethically fair. To rely on old contracts which contain unrealistic rights and penalties, are poorly constructed, with terms which you don't understand or are basically unfair, is a waste of time and money.

Therefore, reading this article may be of value in helping you understand the importance of having up to date and professionally prepared contracts for your business.

This 'old-fashioned' identity theft is just as dangerous as the cyber kind

Kelli B Grant

4 Sep 2018

We are regularly advised to take care of the information we post on the internet or when we deal with others via email as cyber-crime is one of the leading forms of criminal behaviour today. As a result, we can tend to forget the more traditional forms of information where sensitive information can be accessed.

The theme of this article is to remind us that our personal (and business) information can be accessed from many sources and we need to take care of this information.

We can obtain an idea of the information contained in this article from the article's summary points, which also includes the perspective of one victim. 

  • 53 percent of thefts of consumers' identity data are "non-digital," meaning they don't involve — or at least, don't start with — the thief exploiting some cyber vulnerability.
  • That includes physical theft like a stolen laptop or mail, and insider theft, where family members and employees at companies where you do business exploit their access.
  • "Somebody, somewhere, has all this information," says identity theft victim Amy Wang. "We don't know when they're going to pull the trigger and use it."

If you have not thought about the protection of your personal information and business information lately, this article may be of value in helping you review how this information may be protected from being used for fraudulent purposes.

 

 

Accountants say elder abuse spike as mortgage stress sets in

Miranda Brownlee

26 Jun 2018

Miranda Brownlee advises that service providers are starting to see a greater number of elder abuse cases.

Of course, the fleecing of elderly people by children, family, carers and friends has always occurred, and regrettably always will. The difference is today. many more people are aware of what elder abuse looks like and its effects on the welfare of the elderly.

The causes of elder abuse exposed appear to be mortgage stress, to cover business costs or where the perpetrators of elder abuse suggest there are better investment opportunities. If you look beyond these factors, other problems may become more obvious. For instance, the economy may not be in as good shape as some commentators maintain, financial pressures are building up for consumers and finance for business and consumers alike, is increasingly difficult to obtain.

These factors should also be noted by business people as their business is not isolated from what goes on around them. When times are tough, the business's customers and their customers may have limited finances, customers may be willing to increase slow payments and employees subject to financial difficulties fraud may be tempted to commit fraud and theft from their employers. It is suggested therefore the reading of this article may be of value as you plan your future business strategies.

Compliance Programs vs. Compliance

Roy Snell

26 May 2018

Roy Snell discusses the actions of ethicists who advocate that compliance programs are not worth the effort when it comes to managing bad and unethical behaviour.

He suggests the critics of compliance programs are doing a great deal of damage with their criticism of organisations which are developing a culture of compliance and avoidance of bad behaviour. Roy Snell believes their argument about compliance programs is patently false. Whilst he does understand their thoughts about the importance of ethics, he does not believe their efforts to discredit compliance programs is helpful in the fight against bad behaviour.

It would seem Mr Snell believes that ethicists are putting their vested interests ahead of the common good by advancing the theory that compliance programs are not worth the effort and a focus solely on ethics would be more beneficial.

You may find value in reading this article from several perspectives, one of which is; compliance programs do have a valid place in the fight against bad and unethical behaviour.

The hacking community is evolving but the security basics still apply for businesses

Jim Cook

9 Jan 2018

Jim Cook's article is a timely reminder of one of the main issues facing all business people and their management teams today, cybercrime. With the increasing use of technology in the business environment, it is an issue that will not go away.

Mr Cook's article provides a snapshot of how hackers learn their trade, how they look for targets and on what you can do the help protect your business.

This article could be of value to those people who wish to know more or are yet to adequately understand the issues involved with cybercrime. As always, you should consult a suitably qualified professional if further assistance is sought.

Time for ‘prudence’ to make a come-back?

Alistair Kay

24 Nov 2017

Consumer debt is on the rise globally and this situation has potentially negative implications for all businesses.

Alister Kay's article, originating in the UK, could well be written by an author from any country today as the basics are similar.

The focus of the article is about a change in lending practices of the banks and finance companies which offer consumer finance products. However, this article is also a sign that organisations offering B2B credit to their customers, would be wise to rethink their own lending practices. Yesterday's lending practices in both the consumer and B2B worlds, are often no longer applicable or practical.

This article may be of value therefore, if you are looking for the clues that would encourage you to review your own lending practices to meet the future business environment.

Easy Techniques to Prevent Being a Victim of Business Fraud

Dean Kaplan

16 Nov 2017

Dean Kaplan's article is a timely reminder that fraud is an ongoing issue for everybody in business. Irrespective of whether we are a business owner, manager, or employee, we must all be vigilant about the possibilities of being ripped off by fraudsters.

I say this article is timely, because although fraud is an ever-present problem throughout the year, it is a major problem at Christmas. Many fraud professionals consider this is the worst time of the year for fraud because people are distracted by an increase in business, the social events associated with Christmas or are tired and looking forward to the year-end holidays.

Dean's article is also accompanied by a second article advising of eight free or low-cost methods for detecting fraud.

Irrespective of whether you are an experienced business person or a business novice looking for insights on how to beat fraudsters, I suggest this article has something of value for everybody.

Growing threat to lenders: Synthetic identities

Hannah Lutz

26 Oct 2017

One of the fastest growing type of identity theft, synthetic identity fraud in the auto finance industry in the US, is on the rise according to Hannah Lutz. In reality, synthetic fraud is occurring in every industry and to some extent, in many professions.

Ms Lutz explains how synthetic identity fraud takes place in the US. However, fraudsters operate similarly in every jurisdiction.

If you wish to know more about synthetic identity in order to improve the identity checks in your industry, Hannah Lutz's article could be worth reading as a starting point.

The Consequences of Inadequate Due Diligence

Austeja Kibildyte

21 Oct 2017

Many business people are encouraged to consider exporting as a way of increasing their sales. This is a fine thought. Unfortunately, whilst being encouraged to consider the positives of exporting, rarely are business people properly cautioned about the associated risks.

Austeja Kibildyte's article introduces a number of risks which a potential exporter would be wise to consider.

If you are interested in exporting, now would be would be a good time to explore both the positive and negative aspects of exporting. It is very easy to spend a lot of time, energy and money and wish you knew what was involved if your exporting ventures turn nasty. This article may be of value to help you come to grips with a number of the issues when exporting and help you minimise any adverse consequences.

 

Many ways that employees steal

Martha Myron

8 Oct 2017

Martha Myron's article is a timely reminder about an issue many business people would rather not consider, the enemy or fraudster within their business. Unfortunately, it is a sad fact, not all your employees will add value to the business. Incidentally, we are talking about all employees within the business, including those in management.

As you read the article and start to think about the implications, it soon becomes obvious, that all businesses can be negatively affected if the wrong employee is employed. How do you try and employ the right type employees to avoid such stealing from happening in your business? That is a question which is for another time, but certainly worth exploring.

If you would rather not think about your employees stealing from your business, sadly this head in the sand concept could well cost you badly. Now is great time to consider this issue if you have been avoiding the issue and reading Martha Myron's article could well be worth reading as a starting point.

Wiping sensitive data from connected devices is imperative: considerations for your business

David Higgins

2 Oct 2017

We live and work in a world that is predominately promoting positive attitudes and thinking about the future. In doing so, we sometimes forget about the lessons of the past and the fact that being risk aware, has its place in business. There are many risks associated with using our technology devices, and with technology in general. All too often, in our enthusiasm to use and adept our business practices to the latest technology, the associated risks are minimised.

David Higgins article therefore, is a timely reminder that our technology and the associated devices must be used and maintained carefully. Irrespective of whether you are risk aware or not, I suggest this article maybe worth a read as a reminder of how technology tools need to be maintained in good working order to protect your business.

Internal crime perpetrating through law firms

Emma Ryan

16 Aug 2017

Internal crime is one of the worst types of crimes because it involves the breaking of trust and a betrayal of the people who have provide the employee who commits these crimes, with a job.

Lawyers Weekly and InfoTrack surveyed 216 Australian legal professionals to better understand the perceived impact of internal crime as well as the processes law firms have put in place to protect their business.

Notwithstanding the report involved the legal fraternity, this article is a useful resource for all business owners and their management teams in helping to combat internal crime. If your business has employees, the chances that one of these employees may commit a crime against the business. This potential for such a situation cannot be dismissed lightly, no matter how difficult that thought maybe.

If you have not thought about the issues associated with internal crime or not reviewed your own organisation's procedures lately, this article is worth a read.

German firms lost millions of euros in 'CEO Fraud' scam: BSI

Andrea Shalal

24 Jul 2017

Dedicated and professional account employees are your business's cashflow guardians. The value these dedicated employees and equipped with the right tools and who are committed to the success of your business, cannot be over emphasised. After all, money lost to fraudulent behaviour can rarely be recovered,

Fraudsters and their use of technology are one of the greatest threats against your business today. One of the best tools for any business in combating fraudsters and their use of technology is with dedicated employees. Dedicated employees backed by strong operational disciplines and procedures are best forms of defence from fraudsters.

In this article, we see just how effectively fraudsters have been in targeting businesses in Germany. Make no mistake, this type of fraud is happening to businesses in every country.

If you have not stress-tested the viability and strength of your business's cash protection systems lately, this article may be of value in helping you understand why you need to test your business defences.

Anti-Bribery Compliance: How Protected is Your Crystal Castle?

Arghemar Perez

15 Jun 2017

Dealing with bribery is a complexing question for those businesses involved in exporting. What once may have been a normal business practice, although frowned upon, is no longer acceptable.

Arghemar's article is a timely warning that issues surrounding bribery are serious and have long term negative implications if your business is caught out. You may think there is little to worry about if your business stopped the practice of offering bribes and no longer are involved in that behaviour. Unfortunately as many are finding out now, the stigma remains and there is little leniency for those who were involved in offering of bribes in the past.  

No longer can you afford to afford to ignore the issues surrounding bribery. If you are unsure if your business could be caught up in a bribery investigation, Arghemar's article may be of value in understanding the issues involved.

Are you a victim of fraud?

Andrew Tragardh

3 Jan 2017

Fraud is an ongoing problem for all business people and their managers. Whether you like it or not, fraud is a normal part or the business world.

Andrew Tragardh provides a number of factors for your consideration when dealing with a fraud and some lead to a better result than others. There are different solutions available for each type of fraud. It would be wise to think about which is an appropriate strategy for any type of fraud encountered when looking for a positive solution in the recovery of your funds.

I suggest that all business people may find useful information strategy may be of value in the event that they become a victim of fraud. Perhaps you may also want to record the reference to this article for future reference.

10 Risk Factors Impacting Cross Border B2B Payments - Post I

Leslie Stroh

26 Oct 2016

It seems nearly every government export department and trade professional are advocating exporting as a way for your business to increase sales and revenue. This may be the case for your business.

One of the core problems you will face if you decide to go down the export path, is risk. Too often the advocates of exporting, highlight the benefits and minimise the risks.

In this brief article by Leslie Stroh, there is a list of 10 risk factors to consider when exporting. You may have to access other sources of information to adequately equip you with an understanding of each factor. However, as a starting point, this article may be worth a read if you are interested in increasing your sales and revenue via exporting.

When Tough Performance Goals Lead to Cheating

Colm Healy and Karen Niven

19 Oct 2016

Colm Healy and Karen Niven discuss a recent research project they conducted which tested the goal setting process for organisations. The ethos behind the goal setting within any business, is of extreme importance. In addition, the part culture plays within the organisation is another essential factor in the success or otherwise of the goal setting process.

The subject and of impact goal setting has on employee behaviour, is especially in today's business environment. All too often we see yet another well-known business or government organisation being caught out due to the unethical behaviour of its employees.

Goal setting is a valid and valuable part of the business process, it completed properly. If you get the process right, you can motivate your employees to achieve their targets which benefits all stakeholders. Get the process wrong, and there are big penalties which come in to that will impact on your business negatively.

If you are unsure of the importance in goal setting within your business, this article could be of value in helping you understand the process.

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