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Farley: Be aware of risks to business

Marlon Madden

Farley: Be aware of risks to business

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If businesses are to protect their assets and make sure investors and shareholders are able to benefit fully then great focus needs to be placed on fraud in Barbados.
That is the call from executive director of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB) Reginald Farley who told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY that it was important for local businesses to be aware of what was happening all around them as it relates to fraud.
He further posited that exposure to the Internet also meant exposure to crime and misrepresentation and therefore, policy makers should not “bury their heads in the sand” pretending fraud did not exist.
“We recognise that worldwide, and certainly in Barbados, that fraud is a matter of concern. It is affecting individuals and companies. It has been made more globalised because of the Internet. And businesses should not allow fraudsters to be one step ahead of them,” he warned.
Farley was speaking following a professional development seminar in which dozens of finance personnel, mostly accountants, were given lessons on topics relating to forensic accounting and fraud at the Hilton Hotel last Wednesday.
The accountant said it was important for businesses to recognise what their risks were and therefore suggested that each industry carry out a fraud audit to suit their specific needs.
“The exposure that a supermarket may face and the way in which frauds would have impacted or been perpetrated on supermarkets may be different from that of a construction company or in a Government department, so each one would come up with a system that is appropriate to their industry. But what is for sure is that there needs to be a great focus on fraud,” said Farley.
Global estimate is that each business entity loses approximately five per cent of its earnings to fraud annually however benign or grand. Farley said he believed such case was also “typical to Barbados” given its “sophisticated business climate”.