As our blog series on the seven strategies CFOs can adopt to win The Game of Fraud is winding down, we will revisit the Cloud in Part 6. To recap so far,
Part 1 addressed “Making Risk Management a Priority.”
Part 2 explored the importance of “Automating Your Processes.”
Part 3 tackled CFOs and CIOs playing in the sandbox together.
Part 4 encouraged you to acquire new skills and hire the right talent.
Part 5 defined the importance of engaging all internal stakeholders.
Strategy 6: Implement a cloud-based AP automation solution
We started this blog series reminding you about the most common types of fraud and the risks they represent. Supplier fraud (like fake bank details) and client fraud (like fake invoices) represent two of the most common, and costly, types. With a cloud-based AP automation system like Yooz it would be almost impossible for your company to be scammed like this. Even if a fake invoice comes through in an e-mail—whether it’s from a real or fake account—our system’s validation steps would notice!
Here is how it works:
- Each Yooz client application has one or multiple AP e-mail(s), which is like a global e-mail where vendors send their invoices to be paid. These e-mails have a unique login assigned by the AP department or finance administrators.
- The technology auto-forwards the e-mails into the Yooz system to be coded.
- If a fake invoice is imported into the Yooz system, it will enter in the workflow which involves multiple approval steps, including matching it to a real P.O. If there is no P.O., the system will alert you.
So first the pirates need to have this unique AP email, which unlike the regular emails of the employees, is really complicated to try and get if you are not an employee of the company. The scam usually stops there. If the fake invoice actually makes its way into the approval process, the likelihood it of it being caught by one of the approvers is very strong.
Companies are catching on. The percentage of AP departments that use cloud-based solutions more than doubled between 2018 and 2019 (from 22 percent to 49 percent). That’s according to Levvel Research’s 2019 Payables Insight Report: Understanding the Value of Holistic Invoice-to-Payment Automation for Enhanced Business Outcomes.
Levvel Research notes that the best cloud-based solutions are increasingly flexible, dynamic, and affordable. And the rich functionality of cloud-based solutions provides a foundation for automating the procure-to-pay (P2P) life cycle end-to-end—from P.O. requisition through payment settlement and reconciliation.
Most important in the fight against fraud, cloud solutions offer optimum security:
- As soon as you scan the document into the system it moves securely through the workflow and is stored securely in the Cloud. The original document can then be shredded.
- Documents stored in the Cloud can only be accessed by those with login credentials, whether it be to view or approve. Users are also able to see the history of the document, who has accessed it, who has approved, and where it is in the workflow.
- Access permissions can be set by department managers according to the dollar amount and/or sensitivity of the documents, so only those approved will virtually “touch” the document.
- Once the document is in the automated system, it goes all the way through the process electronically, including being exported to the secure ERP.*
The seventh and final strategy brings it all together in Part 7 of this series: Embrace tools that leverage advanced technologies
For an illustrated guide to winning at the Game of Fraud, download the four-part infographic series.
*Based on the Yooz whitepaper Why Finance Leaders Shouldn’t Wait for Electronic Invoicing, available for download.