Daily Archives: October 20, 2015

10 Frighteningly Simple Ways to Improve Fraud Prevention

by Josh Bryantpumpkin


Fall has finally arrived!

With the departure of summer, the hot and humid days are gone, and one of the most widely celebrated holidays among America’s youth- Halloween, quickly approaches.  Soon enough ghouls and goblins will be aimlessly wondering the streets in search of sugary-sweets.

However scary, nothing is more frightening to both consumers and business-owners alike than fraud. Forget running to your local costume emporium for disguises, leave the garlic and silver bullets, this shadowy presence is constantly lurking and has no home-remedies for expulsion.

  • Understanding why and how fraud is perpetrated in the minds of those around you is the first and most imperative step. One simple way is to keep the Fraud Triangle in mind. The Fraud Triangle presents the three elements every person has in common when perpetrating fraud: (1) Pressure– Financial or Career Pressure, for example, (2) Rationalization– a way for the person to rationalize their action as being okay, and (3) Opportunity– the ability or perceived ability to commit and hide fraud.
  • Communication: by clearly stating, both orally and in a written statement, employees within your organization have a clear understanding of expectations.
  • “Tone at the top,” or Modeling: first and foremost, executives in an organization must be constantly aware of how they portray the importance of honesty and character.
  • Segregation of duties: in order to stop fraudulent transactions before they happen- having the proper organizational duties prescribed to each individual in the hierarchy is paramount. For example, those who write checks should not be able to book the entry into accounts payable (more on this topic here).
  • Effective security, both physical and logical access safeguards to protect information or tangible assets.
  • Thorough background checks on employees.
  • Keep adequate documentation for an audit trail to catch those that get through the system.
  • Hire a CPA to conduct internal audits regularly.
  • Have a consistent review process for all employees.
  • Stay on your toes, the threat is constantly lurking!josh's cartoon

Josh ([email protected]) is a staff auditor who works primarily on non-profit organizations.  Please contact our office if we can be of service to you!

Why Hire a CPA?

by Brittany Spragins

When looking to hire an accountant to prepare your taxes or perform an audit, you want to ensure that you select a CPA for several reasons.  When you see the CPA designation, you are assured a level of quality that surpasses the average accountant. CPA seal

Every state maintains its own standards and criteria for becoming a CPA.  According to the NC State Board of Accountancy, the use of the CPA designation is granted only to individuals “who meet the statutory requirements” of NCGS 93-12.  These requirements include passing all four sections of the CPA exam, receiving a minimum level of college education with an emphasis in accounting, an accounting law course that covers ethics, professionalism, and professional responsibility, and appropriate work experience.  When the CPA submits his or her application, it must be accompanied by 3 letters of recommendation to indicate “good moral character.”

When selecting a CPA, you are assured that,

“a CPA should at all times maintain independence of thought and action, hold the affairs of clients in strict confidence, strive continuously to improve professional skills, observe generally accepted principles and standards, promote sound and informative financial reporting, uphold the dignity and honor of the accounting profession, and maintain high standards of personal conduct.” -www.NCCPABoard.gov

In North Carolina, it is against the law to use the CPA title without the state’s approval that you meet its qualifications.  Part of the benefits to the client is that the NC CPA Board establishes consumer confidence since it instills peer reviews of the CPA’s work.  It also provides enforcement of professional ethics and code of conduct to ensure client confidence.

Whether you hire Langdon and Company LLP to assist you on a personal or corporate level, you can have the confidence that you are hiring a CPA firm that upholds the highest levels of professional and ethical standards, maintains excellent working knowledge of the tax and assurance current events, and is a focused on a personal relationship with the client.

For more information on CPA’s, you can visit the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) website www.aicpa.org or the NC State Board of Accountancy website www.nccpaboard.gov

Brittany ([email protected]) is a staff member of Langdon & Company LLP’s tax practice.  She focuses primarily on high net-wealth individual returns and their closely-held companies.