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Understanding payroll fraud and preventing it

Payroll fraud is a matter of serious concern to the people affected by it, the organization in which it happens, and to the economy overall. It is estimated that payroll fraud is involved in around an eighth of all workplace frauds and makes up about a twelfth of all occupational frauds worldwide. On average, a payroll fraud case results in loss of $ 48,000 and avoids detection for about three years. Each payroll case fraud costs around $ 72,000.

It is rather unfortunate, but expected that small organizations bear the brunt of payroll frauds. The reason for this is not far to seek: They usually lack the requisite fraud detection mechanisms, making them particularly susceptible to payroll fraud.

Common methods for preventing payroll fraud

Many organizations take a few steps to prevent payroll fraud. Some of these include limiting access to the information relating to payroll, engaging different people for different levels and areas of payroll functions so that it acts as some kind of checks and balances system, conducting thorough background checks of the employees in charge of payroll functions, checking ghost employee accounts, installing automated clearing house (ACH) filters, and a few others.

Section 404 of SOX Act

Additionally, the Sarbanes Oxley Act, which was a landmark legislation aimed at putting checks on large corporate frauds, also requires companies to take a few steps to prevent payroll fraud. Section 404 of the SOX Act requires a few stringent steps:

  • Companies have to include an Internal Control Report in their annual financial reports stating that the management takes responsibility for implementing what SOX terms an “adequate” internal control structure
  • Management has to assess the effectiveness of this internal control structure
  • Deficiencies and discrepancies in these controls must be reported 
  • These declarations by the management have to be attested by external registered auditors.

A complete discussion of the ways of preventing payroll fraud

A thorough understanding of all the elements of payroll fraud and the ways of preventing them will be discussed at a webinar that is being organized by TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry. At this webinar, Dayna Reum, who is Payroll Tax Manager at PetSmart Inc. and has been heavily involved in the payroll field over 15 years; will be the speaker.

To get an in-depth idea of payroll fraud and to understand the ways of dealing with it, please register for this webinar by visiting TrainHR

Tools for detecting payroll fraud

The purpose of this session is to help participants gain an understanding of the legal rules around detecting and deferring payroll fraud. Dayna will review tools that companies can use to detect or deter fraud with immediate effect. She will take up Section 404 of the SOX Act for detailed discussion and examine the requirements in it that publicly traded companies have to meet. She will also explain how the provisions of the Act are designed to check payroll fraud.

This webinar will be of high value to professionals involved in payroll functions, such as Payroll Professionals, Compensation Professionals, HR Professionals, and Benefit Professionals. In the course of this webinar, Dayna will cover the following areas:

  • Payroll Fraud Statistic's-How big of a problem is it?
  • How does payroll fraud occur?
  • Preventing Payroll Fraud
  • Internal Controls
  • Tools (Process Maps, Business Continuity Plans, Process Documentation)
  • Audits
  • Sarbanes-Oxley 404 Requirements
  • Ethical Business Practices.

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