3 Types of Financial Fraud In Business

Business fraud can have a monumental impact on an organization. There are many types of fraud that go by different names, such as financial statement fraud, bribery and corruption and asset misappropriation. It is often the case that fraud instigated by an employee will involve more than one type of fraud. Also, business fraud is not always easy to detect because it does not always show up in a company’s official accounts system. In general, the most typical way to detect this type of fraud is by receiving a tip from an employee, a customer, or an outside vendor.

Here is an overview of the different financial fraud in business:

Asset misappropriation

Asset misappropriation is the type of fraud that involves a member of staff who uses their position to take from their employers. This fraud is often committed by those trusted to manage the interests and assets of a company, which can include board members, employees or directors.

This type of fraud activity can include theft of company formulas, patents, or sensitive data, theft of credit notes or vouchers, inventory theft, theft of money or check forgery.

Any company that suffers from asset misappropriation will experience cash flow issues in some form. Plus, it can also have a negative impact on staff morale and the company’s reputation. It is believed that over 90% of business fraud is related to asset misappropriation which makes it by far the most common issue. On average, the lost from this type of fraud is in the region of $150,000 per case.

Bribery and corruption

Bribery and corruption is the next most common issue related to fraud in a business environment. Even though this type of fraud is less common than asset misappropriation, the average cost of a bribery scheme is significantly higher, and likely to exceed over half a million dollars per case.

The type of schemes involved in this area are quite broad and can include substitution of inferior goods, manipulation of contracts, bribes to influence decision-making, shell company schemes and kickbacks.

Financial statement fraud

Financial statement fraud takes place less frequently, but is almost certainly to be the most experience per case. On average, this type of fraud can lead to a company losing up to $2 million per case. This fraud involves an entity or individual falsifying earnings or income statements in an attempt to make a financial gain for them.

This type of fraud can include manipulating a company’s records in relation to more favorable loan terms, an improvement in year-end bonuses, or influencing the stock price.

 

Passion and Business

Every business person will experience challenges. This is a default setting in life – Challenges will always come. But, what separates the businesses that rise and rise, from those that experience failure after failure?

(Caveat: This is not to say that there are businesses that never fail. ALL businesses fail at some point. Some, however, rise from ashes and shine through.)

Passion, then, is the key ingredient between throwing in the towel, or getting up to fight the next round. There is a refining moment where every business owner goes through intense heat. This heat can either polish you or finish you completely but it all depends on the level of passion in the business.

To always keep your goals ahead of you is tough when everything is bursting at the seams. This is why asking questions is a survival skill.

“Why am I doing this? What works? What doesn’t? What can I do better?”

These questions tackle the level of passion you are carrying for the business. Sometimes, answering these questions may make you revisit exactly how you ended up in that business. This in turn focuses on your motivators. They are the little coals that keep your passion alive. They make going through the grime seem worthwhile even though the outlook seems bleak. As long as you keep asking these questions, you automatically take your mind to your motivators. That’s why challenges really should never worry you, but dwindling passion should ring alarm bells!

So, when passion starts to dwindle, simply repeat the questions, “Why am I doing this? What works? What doesn’t work? What can I do better?”

Once you have your mind on your motivators, the dying passion will be revived once again.

Why am I doing this? It’s the path towards achieving goal X, Y, Z…

What works? So far, what have I achieved? Am I still on my way there?

What doesn’t work? What has derailed me on this course? Is what I’m doing still viable? If I change course, what will still take me to goal X, Y, Z…?

What can I do better? What hasn’t stalled but isn’t performing well either? How can I affect the rate of growth? Do I really need more money? Can I do it differently? Can I borrow a strategy? Who has done this and it’s working for them?

When stalling, don’t resign. Ask. What you fear will always paralyze you. Once you question its power, you have a fighting chance left. Always ask.

 

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Wholesale Business

The Wholesaler marketing is when a manufacturer of a product or good sells its supply to a company. The wholesaler will, in turn, sell it to the consumer, possibly even under the brand name of the company.

Advantages

Everybody can get benefits buying wholesale products because they have a low price. It is a good procedure for smaller shops because they can save money buying items to suppliers. But not only business people can buy in bulk. The only rule to buy in bulk products is to respect certain amounts of things. The wholesalers desire to sell the huge amount of items in order to win more money and then retailers or particular can sell it at higher prices.

Dealers are more interested in purchasing in bulk because they can buy all they need to one distributor. It is really difficult when you need to buy things from different suppliers because sometimes they don’t have enough merchant. However, wholesalers ease this process that retailers can get products easily. It helps to save time and money.

People who deal with distributors have vast differences in merchandise. So, if you are interested in buying there, make sure you will have to choose among million of product.

Distributors can negotiate lower prices with the manufacturers in order to receive discounts or coupons. They can reach an agreement taking into account the number of products they are going to buy. Both get benefits of these deals because they sell more at one time and traders get products at a lower price.

Disadvantages:

Since the product will not pass through the business owner, the quality and condition of the product cannot be checked. If a supplier is unreliable and irresponsible, problems might arise and may affect your business deeply.

Traders need to have a big storehouse if they want to keep their products. If they have their own warehouse it is better but if they don’t, they would have to rent it, what it means an additional cost. Warehouse are expensive and more if you don’t have one.

A distributor has to control several things: shipping, marketing, and inventory. It is an exhausting work if you don’t have help. A better option would be drop shipping because you don’t have to keep your own merchandise.

Nevertheless, it has more advantages than disadvantages. It means that wholesale is a useful and alive process that is making our lives easier. Traders have a difficult work, but distributors normally offer extra support in order to ease their labor.

 

15 Business Etiquettes Professionals Should Know

“A man without a smiling face must never open a shop” or so the Chinese proverb goes. Truly, smiling goes a long way to lighting up the mood for a friendlier, more understanding conversation. This is true in business as well, especially when trying to make a business partnership. However, there are more business etiquettes beyond smiling and demonstrating these will show others that your customers and your business are worth respecting.

* Introduce everyone, even when in doubt – There is a proper way to introduce people to each other. First, introduce the person who is the most senior, using their full name and their job title or responsibility. Next introduce that person to the person who has lower authority. Make sure to also mention his or her full name. To end, you may mention some details about each other as a topic of common interest. When being introduced to someone, always stand up if you are sitting.

* A firm handshake – The way businessmen shake hands more often than not sets the tone between them. Giving a good, firm handshake will set a good first impression as it may eventually end up in a successful business partnership. If you are the host or the senior member, you should be the one initiating the handshake.

* Admit if you forget their names – Forgetting the names of people you were recently introduced to is not uncommon. If it happens, admit it and ask for it again as this shows that you give them importance.

* Sitting down for a meeting – Whether the meeting is in a restaurant or in an office, in a group or a one-on-one, it is best not to pull out the chair for anyone. In a business setting, everyone should dismiss social gender rules and treat everyone equally. When seated, never cross your legs as it may be distracting and disrespectful.

* Meeting in a restaurant – Contrary to business instincts, do not use your knife to break bread. Tear it off with your bare hands as this signifies your openness to your potential business partner. When finished with the meal, never push your plate away nor stack the plates. Try not to have any left overs as well. If your guest orders appetizers or dessert, you should be ordering as well. This avoids the potential awkwardness of having other people in your party eating and you have nothing on your plate. If you are the host, you should pay for your guest unless he or she insists otherwise or is against their company’s gifting policy.

* Dress properly – The way someone dresses is a form of nonverbal communication. Dressing appropriately for a meeting shows an automatic sign of respect for either the guests or for the host. Additionally, always check the dress code for an event as some events may require either more or less formal attire.

* Keep cellphones in your pockets – Never place phones on the meeting table and don’t use them during the meeting. Only answer calls that are urgent and excuse yourself from the meeting and take your call outside so you don’t interrupt the meeting.

* “Please” and “Thank You” – These two phrases show politeness in any conversation and it is all the more important in a professional setting. Saying “please” can be used as much as needed. “Thank you”, however, should be used once or twice as saying it too many times may lower its impact. As much as possible, give thanks to everyone individually after a meeting.

* Stay sober – Businessmen have lost reputations and careers because drunken behavior. Although none of the things said or done while drunk were meant, it is a clear sign of disrespect towards either the host or guests. Don’t embarrass yourself or your business. Know your limits and control your pace.

* Be genuinely interested – Always make eye contact in a conversation and make sure to pay attention to every detail the guest says. Take the time to ask questions as this shows that you were listening and interested.

* Double check emails – Simple mistakes can be made to derail a meeting or blow a deal. You may have date and time wrong for a meeting, left out some paperwork to be signed, or worse, your emails were sent to the wrong person and may potentially endanger the company.

* Use professional photos – When using your or anyone’s photos for business matters, always use a proper headshot. Businesses would need to look credible to other businesses.

* Greet everyone anywhere – Regardless of seniority, always greet people. You may never know that he may actually be your next business partner. When people greet you, it is imperative that you greet back.

* Don’t forget to smile – Just like the Chinese proverb, smiling works wonders in any occasion, whether in a meeting, during introductions, or in a business social gathering.

End on a polite note – When you need to leave, make sure you exit politely with either, “It was nice to meet you” or “See you at the next meeting”.

 

Emerging Technology Is Changing How You Can Do Business

I love technology, and we’re fortunate to be living at a time when most of us are experiencing the great evolution of technology. For instance, we have cars that are out on our streets driving themselves. We have incredible advances in medicine and have eradicated diseases. And, as the U.S. shifts from government to public and private partnerships, I’m sure that we’re going to see incredible achievements in the space industry as humanity seeks to create a society that will thrive beyond the boundaries of Earth. The success of the reusable rocket by SpaceXin 2017 is a step in the right direction. However, technology can also be straightforward and affect our daily lives and businesses.

Zoom Room

In my company, one of the technologies that have fundamentally shifted how my team, client and our vendors relate to each other and work is Zoom. Zoom is one of the top video and web conferencing platforms on the market.

I love the technology because my team is spread out across the U.S. and even in Europe. Every single week we’re getting online with prescheduled or unscheduled Zoom meetings in our conference room, which we now call the Zoom room. People can join us at a moment’s notice from anywhere they have internet access using their desktops, tablets or smartphones.

OWL Labs

After using Zoom for a couple of months, we went one further for one-touch conferencing, which is supported by OWL Lab 360 degree camera and microphone. What does that mean? It means that attending one of our video conferences is a much more dynamic experience.

Instead of seeing a flat look into the conference room, which is not only dull but can have people outside of the Zoom room miss subtle body language or even missed discussion points, the OWL Lab camera and microphone follows the speaker. That means that the moment someone begins to speak, the camera and microphone immediately rotate and focus on that individual, making the discussion much more animated and dynamic. If you want to see what we’re doing and how it works, take a look at the OWL Labs experience.

What People Are Saying

Our team loves the technology, and everyone is pleased to get on a conference call because it is the next best thing to having people actually in the same room. In addition, the technology is regularly used for screen shares, and productivity has increased exponentially.

However, as an entrepreneur and businessman, one of the best compliments we’ve received come from our clients and partners. Quite simply, they’ve been wowed, and we’re always getting new comments about how “forward thinking,” “ingenious” and “practical” we are in our use of technology.

I’m a big believer that you have to embrace all of the resources at your disposal and in the modern era, that includes technology. One of the best things you can do for yourself and your business is to embrace technology, even something as simple as the platforms you use for video conferencing.

 

4 Tips To Pick A Reliable Courier Service Provider For Your Business

In today’s world, high-quality production and efficient employees are not enough to survive the hard-hitting business atmosphere. Business houses need to be the fastest when it comes to delivering the final goods. The faster your products reach the market, the higher will be your profit margin. Hence, depending solely on the company’s labor resources for either transporting the raw materials or distributing the final products would not be a smart decision to pursue by any production manager.

Entrusting the job of delivering your goods to a courier service provider will not only make sure a hassle-free production but will also help you concentrate only on the core manufacturing processes. However, before you select any random courier service provider for business deliveries, make sure that the particular vendor is your correct choice. But how?

Here are 4 necessary factors to consider before moving forward with any courier service provider:

#1 Availability on a single call

If your service provider sets restrictions on its availabilities for picking your parcels or items, then you need to say no and start seeking a better option. A reliable courier company is one who is readily accessible 24*7 and has several local delivery branches. If it has an efficient chain of agents then you can rest assured that you will have on-time delivery of your products.

#2 Know the weight limit in advance

Most of the times service providers do not clarify the maximum weight of parcels they can deliver. This creates a lot of confusion at the time of packaging and final delivery. Thus, one should clarify the limitation of the package weight before signing the final agreement.

#3 Ability to track your delivery

Since time management is the most dominant factor in the process of production, any kind of delay and lack of access to delivery updates are completely unacceptable. As the customer, you should be able to get minute-to-minute updates of your parcels. Tracking your delivery via app, website, email or phone will help you know the exact time when your product will be delivered.

#4 Get insurance for your package

Insuring your deliverables is must to ensure that even in worst case if your package is damaged, is misplaced or goes missing, you can claim for the loss. Also, as soon as a company provides insurance for your package, its accountability towards you is ensured and you know that your products are now in safe hands.

In this tough competitive business world, managing everything single-handedly starting from purchasing raw material, manufacturing goods to delivering the final commodities is near to impossible. According to business experts, managers should delegate the task of transporting their final products to a courier company and focus on other important business functions. However, one needs to compare and evaluate first to pick the best service provider for his business.

 

Four Stages of Business Growth

1st Stage-Initiation:

There can be varied reasons for a business start-up but the main values in running the business are of those who are the founders. We can see that company exhibits the main skills of the founder in its spirits, for example, if the founder is an engineer, he will emphasize in production rather than sales and marketing which should not be neglected. Main efforts are centered on the acceptability of the product in the market. If the owner can provide the demands of business i.e. time, energy, and finances, he/she can move to the second stage. Otherwise, he/she will have to wind up their business as there is limited time for the company to stay at one stage. Here the main focus changes to establish the company and earn profits. With this financial push company will need to formalize the system and start record keeping, an unskilled manager can’t handle this all. After this, there will be demand for change in administration’s style because of increased activity in his business.

2nd Stage-Growth:

The moment a company moves forward to the expansion stage it should be able to earn a decent profit, but that profit will not go to the owner. This is because it will be invested in the business in order to assist in the capital demands of the company. It demands time for coordinating functional managerial activities; it demands complicated organizational structure mainly focusing on functional lines. Now research and development will be established in order to increase product range. At the start, it will be on a smaller scale because of lack of capital. If management continues changing its environment, the company can stay at this stage for some time. In many cases, owners sell their business at this stage for substantial benefits. The increase of new markets and product will demand more finances. This stage faces larger competitors who deal the situation by putting stress on emerging firm; this stress can be in the form of very low prices as well. At this stage over trading is the biggest threat if not handled properly it can lead the business to demise. As the company grows it need to extend geographical trading and distribution, so ‘supervised supervision’ will be required at this stage. If new competitors enter the market and the owner wants to maintain his shares, he will have to put more capital by himself or attract some partners.

3rd Stage-Expansion:

This stage demands proper management reports, budget control, and dispersed authority, along with a formal accounting system. Basic adaptation at this stage will be to systemize administrative roles which are keys to survival through this stage. The expansion stage demands stable long term funds which will be important and if there is not plan for partners then this stage must be considered right now. Although retained earnings are major forms of funds but dividends are the special attraction to the investors; at this stage these are inevitable. Now company’s track record will help in gaining long term loans but the company will have to give security in the form of assets.

4th Stage-Maturity:

At this stage main issues are about expense control, search for growth opportunities and productivity. The direction of authority can be towards functional lines or it is reorganized with production lines. As there is severe price competition, therefore, productions department should be the center of focus and authorities should emphasize on innovative moves towards betterment.

Now basic investments are in sales and marketing struggles and maintenance and plant up gradation. The company grows up to a level that income is sufficient to tackle this but occasionally more long term load prove to be a support. At this level firm may limit its operations or move on, normally acquisition or floatation in order to become a large corporation.