Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bad Debt Policy

Policies are an important part of any organisation. One of the policies needed is a Bad Debt Policy which provides details of when a debt should be written off. It also provides details of how the write off process needs to be authorised. So how does this help with fraud prevention?

A common method to hide a fraud is to take funds as they are received and to record them in the accounts as a debtor. As the debtor gets larger and is seen not to be being collected, it is written off, thereby reducing the risk of the fraud being discovered. This is especially a problem for organisations that are regularly owed funds from clients or other customers which do not pay and there is a history of writing off the debt.

When preparing a Bad Debt Policy, you need to clearly set out the criteria of when a debt is to be written off as well as how the write off is to be authorised. It is the authorisation process that should pick up potential fraud.

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