Basware Aims to Shock – Fake Invoice Campaign Highlights Huge Issue

Basware took the advantage of it being April Fool’s Day to make an important point to some of their clients and potential clients. The eInvoicing market leader sent out fake fake invoices (if you see what we mean) to highlight the fact that fraudulent invoicing is a huge problem. There have been some well-publicised cases in the press recently, for instance with staff being persuaded to change bank details to the fraudsters account or fraudsters simply sending in invoices that look genuine – but aren’t.

So Basware has launched a campaign to raise awareness of fraud and error in P2P processes. With 44% of organisations admitting to having been victims of fraud in the last three years according to a recent study, sharp practices are endemic, yet rarely uncovered before it’s too late – if at all. Another investigation under the Freedom of Information act revealed that local councils in England made £22 million in duplicate invoice payments in the last 24 months – the equivalent of a typical primary school’s budget for 280 years.

Our experience is that procurement people are often very blasé about this issue, thinking “it will never happen to us”. But the Basware campaign points out how easy it is to fool firms with seemingly-legitimate invoices that arrive in context. Once paid, losses can rarely be recovered. The would-be fraudster may be external, such as a supplier or malicious third party, but is more commonly an employee in a position of trust or an employee working in conjunction with external villains -  that is why Basware call P2P fraud “the elephant in the office”!

Organisations can reduce the likelihood of a successful attempt at misappropriation with the right processes, checks and balances in place. Unfortunately, paper-based or manual processes – which are still the norm in too many P2P functions – are riddled with opportunity for deliberate fraud or simply good old-fashioned human error. This is an area where technology, applied properly, can certainly help. Basware has published a white paper titled, “Fraud Prevention: Avoiding the F-Word in P2P” which explains how to identify the ‘red flags’ of suspicious activity and the steps needed to eliminate process vulnerabilities.

And in a forthcoming webinar on the 21st of April, hosted by Basware and titled Stop the AP Fraudster (register here) leading expert Chris Doxey, will reveal the top 20 controls that organisations should implement to thwart dodgy dealings and duplications.

Michelle Urwin, UKI Marketing Manager at Basware, told us: “Companies of all sizes across all industries are at risk of fraud from internal and external sources. This campaign is quite unconventional and light-hearted, but it has a serious educational message about helping organisations to monitor risk factors and avoid the damage of duplicate, fraudulent or erroneous payments.”

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