Payroll Fraud – Ghost employees

What is a ghost employee?

A ghost employee is someone being paid on the payroll who doesn’t actually work for the company.

Through false payroll records a fraudster can pay a ghost employee. The ghost employee may be a false person or a real individual who simply doesn’t work for the employer.

How does ghost employee fraud work?

The scheme works if:

  • the ghost must be added to the payroll,
  • timekeeping and wage rate information must be collected,
  • a pay slip must be issued to the ghost, and
  • the funds must be delivered to the fraudster or an accomplice.

How to prevent ghost employee fraud

Companies need to focus on internal controls and process improvement.

Preventing ghosts on your payroll includes:

  • Segregation of duties in the payroll function
  • Formal process for adding new/terminating employees
  • Always look into employees with no deductions for tax or PRSI/USC
  • Are the payroll records on the right paper or using the right font?
  • Check payroll listing for duplicate names
  • Check payroll listing for duplicate bank account numbers
  • Review budget variations on monthly payroll

Remember: The fraudster is only successful if they have unmonitored access.

What questions do you have?

We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or contact Lisa Byrne, Audit Manager at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, send her an email: lbyrne@cooneycarey.ie 

If this article helped you, please share it with other businesses.

Posted on September 12, 2017 by Lisa Byrne

Forensic Team: What We Do

Our forensic accounting team use our skills in accounting, auditing, taxation, law and investigation to interpret the data available and deliver a concise report suitable for discussion, debate and ultimately as evidence in court.

We deliver focused investigations using our knowledge of auditing, personal forensic accounting, taxation, company law, banking facilities and industry sectorial knowledge. We have the forensic skills to identify undeclared assets and income, and the experience and credibility to work as forensic accountant experts and give clear advice to legal advisors. We deliver concise reports that have been well received by legal advisors, law enforcement agencies and judges.

Skills of our Forensic Accountants

  • Ability to review the financial evidence available and give opinion on options
  • Identify the additional required information
  • Ability to give initial opinion on case and identify strengths and weaknesses of the evidence
  • Critique report of expert witness on the other side of case
  • Ability to work with and add value to legal team
  • Negotiating wise and workable solutions
  • Giving evidence and cross-examination in court

Do you have any questions?

We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Lisa Byrne, Audit Manager at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, send her an email: lbyrne@cooneycarey.ie 

If this article helped you, please share it with others.

Posted on July 21, 2017 by Cooney Carey

Fraud Prevention: Put Measures In Place To Avoid The “Fake” Payment Scam

Unfortunately, we are seeing more of this type of scam. What it involves is a fraudster providing their bank details to a company when a payment to a supplier/third party is being made.

Examples:

1. Company A seeks to make a payment to a supplier or a third party in a transaction. The fraudster has hacked the emails and sees that a payment event is due to be made. The fraudster intercepts the e-mail with the correct payment details and changes them so that the payment is made for their benefit.

2. Another case involved a fraudster reviewing a company website and getting the names of individuals in the company. They then write an email (seemingly from the company “boss”) to the finance person in the company to instruct them to make a payment to the fraudster’s bank account.

You may think this will not happen in your organisation and hopefully it will not, but you should be aware that these type of “fake payment” scams are very common at the moment and small and large businesses are being targeted and have lost significant monies.

How To prevent this type of scam?

We would recommend one key control to prevent this type of scam which is to phone the person to whom you believe is to be paid and confirm the bank details by phone.

What questions do you have?

We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Paul Leonard, Partner at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, send him an email: pleonard@cooneycarey.ie

If this article helped you, please share it with other businesses. 

Posted on July 18, 2017 by Cooney Carey

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