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PyraMax Stories & Articles

When it comes to managing your finances, there's a lot to know, and it seems as if things are changing every day! We love educating our customers, and that's why we maintain a thorough selection of stories and articles.

Practical Safeguards for your Business

By Melinda Toy, VP, Director of Treasury Management

As technology changes, payments get even faster, and domestic and international lines of business are more blurred, it’s becoming more important than ever to protect your business from fraud.

Rarely a week passes that we don’t hear about a business that had their data compromised or ransomed. The stories don’t always involve an external hacker but can be a trusted employee who has been found to be embezzling funds. This effects not only the finances of the business but can dramatically affect its reputation and whether or not they are perceived as a trustworthy organization.

In its 2018 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud & Abuse, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) estimated that the typical organization loses 5% of revenues in a given year due to fraud, with median losses running around $130,000 and almost a quarter of cases studied losing $1 million or more. For many companies, this could mean serious profitability issues, loss of employees, or even shutting its doors.

Unfortunately, even simple best practices to migrate fraud loss are often overlooked by large and small companies. Because of this, a savvy banking partner that understands treasury management, including fraud-risk management can be a valuable advisor.


Internal Controls

  • One of the strongest guards against internal fraud is reducing opportunities for it to occur and knowing the employer has strong controls in place. The following are just some of the best practices companies should employ for their internal departments.
  • Utilize unique user ids and change passwords periodically.
  • Guard access to sensitive information and only provide on a need-to-know basis to employees based on their roles.
  • Secure financial assets such as custody of cash, signed checks, etc.
  • Secure physical assets such as by locking up laptops and utilizing security cameras
  • Regularly educate staff about current scams including false wire transfer requests.
  • Utilize dual control where the initiator is never the approver for electronic fund transfers.
  • Segregate duties for recording/reconciling accounts and making accounting entries.
  • Enforce processes for transactions, approvals and documentation.
  • Utilize Account Reconciliation and review accounts daily via online banking.


External Controls

Part of risk management should also include proper external controls such as periodic audits and managing third-party access to systems or company information. Treasury Management offers several resources that can be implemented to protect business.

  • Annual treasury check-up where services, roles, and rights are reviewed.
  • Annual financial procedure review to determine if any gaps were overlooked or processes could be improved.
  • Utilizing ACH versus writing checks can help safeguard business transactions.
  • Utilizing ACH Blocks & Filters—a service that protects from fraudulent electronic funds activity by rejecting unauthorized debits.
  • Positive Pay services and ACH and Check Blocks to prevent unauthorized transactions.
  • Acquiring cyber-insurance and appropriate legal resources.

Fraud isn’t going away but becoming more sophisticated. Without making changes necessary to implement appropriate controls, it not only threatens a loss of money, but potential loss of future viability.

One of the biggest keys is taking time to do things properly. With busy schedules, it’s easy to take short cuts. However, by maintaining the discipline to do things properly, exercise appropriate controls and processes, and perform routine due diligence, it will keep your business less vulnerable to the rampant fraud attempts that could be just around the corner.

Please Note: By clicking on this link, you will be leaving PyraMax Bank is not responsible for any content within this website. Third party websites may have privacy and security policies different from PyraMax Bank. Please review the privacy and security policies of websites reached through links from the PyraMax Bank website.

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