While it may be a surprise to the average person that business payments fraud is the largest source of cybercrime in the U.S, it’s at the forefront of every professional working in accounts payable and/or procurement today.
These hard-working individuals bear the enormous responsibility of authenticating and authorizing that payments–thousands of them, in some cases–are in fact going to the right vendor, day in and day out. And with staggering statistics to underscore the enormity of the problem–AFP’s annual Payments Fraud and Control Survey notes 74 percent of companies reported they were the target of an attempted or successful payment fraud scam last year–can you guess the primary targets for these bad actors? Sixty percent of the time, it’s Accounts Payable and Procurement departments.
While the impact of a fraud incident on a higher-ed institution is costly, not to mention detrimental to its reputation, the cost to a finance professional tasked with critical payment decisions daily–and now for many, from home–has potential to be even more damaging. The answer isn’t to be “more careful,” as so many industry pundits and big banks preach.
Here is practical advice and insight, from those in higher ed who are on the front lines of vendor management, to help others safeguard against increasingly savvy fraudsters. The encouraging news is that many of these best practices can be put into place as quickly as today.
#1 Zero Trust
Emma Foster, Accounting Department, KFS Vendor Onboarding at the University of California, Irvine advises, “Don’t take anything at face value; if in doubt, check it out! Google is my best friend!”
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