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Safeguard your business from thieves – register now!

25 Jan 2017

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Aspiring Law’s BizClub® 2017 workshop series gets off to a cracking start for the year with an eye-opening – and potentially business-saving – seminar presented by forensic accountant and fraud expert Graeme McGlinn.

Registrations are now open for Graeme’s Fraud Awareness for Small Business presentation, which will be held at Aspiring Law’s offices on Wednesday, February 8, from 5.30pm-7pm.

As usual, the workshop is COMPLETELY FREE for BizClubbers, but spaces are limited, so don’t delay in securing your spot. Also, in registering, please advise how many people will be coming from your business.

Private companies with fewer than 100 employees are most at risk of falling victim to a whopping 100 different categories of fraud. With median losses for small and medium-sized business standing at $180,000, this is one workshop BizClubbers really can’t afford to miss.

Even worse, though, than the often crippling financial cost, Graeme says, are the sense of betrayal and gross breach of trust employers and fellow staff members have to come to terms with. In cases of employee theft, fraudsters don’t tend to be newcomers – most have worked for the business between one and five years.

“But there are no-cost, important steps businesses can take, and, generally, business owner awareness of fraud is one the best protectors,” he says.

“It’s a case of forewarned is forearmed.”

And, Graeme should know – he’s just about seen it all. With an accounting career specialising in forensics and auditing spanning 35 years, he is a certified fraud examiner whose expertise has been drawn on to investigate and unravel some of the country’s highest-profile and most complex cases.

In the wake of South Canterbury Finance’s collapse, Graeme, who was also a registered auditor until last year, served as statutory manager, under Crown order, of the Alan Hubbard-related entities between 2010 and 2015. He also oversaw the prosecution of Hanover Finance Limited’s directors, before the case settled, and has provided expert support to the Serious Fraud Office, Financial Markets Authority, Ministry of Economic Development and Ministry of Innovation, Business and Employment on numerous cases.

The Fraud Awareness for Small Business workshop centres on vital insight, education and simple, proactive strategies aimed at empowering private companies to safeguard themselves. Topics include:

  • Profiling of fraudsters – which often takes participants by surprise, according to Graeme. For starters, far from fitting some outwardly sneaky, trouble-maker stereotype, many workplace thieves are:

-highly educated (nearly half have university degrees)

-are typically aged between 30 and 50, and are often facing external pressures – anything from “keeping up with the Joneses” and financial difficulties, to illness and relationship woes.

-90 percent of convicted fraudsters are first-time offenders – and 80 percent haven’t even previously been the subject of workplace disciplinary proceedings.

  • Graeme’s “red wine” test – participants will be taken through the seasoned investigator’s recommended process for keeping an eye on things, including some of the key tell-tale signs an employee might have “their hand in the till”. A hugely worthwhile exercise, he says – research shows around half of businesspeople who have fallen victim to fraud can see, with the benefit of hindsight and education, there were “classic signs”, but didn’t understand or appreciate their significance at the time.

  • Preventative and protective measures – Graeme will provide participants with a suite of no-cost strategies, checks and balances to help you safeguard your business. He says most fraud victims don’t have robust enough – if any – systems and procedures in place, which are crucial first lines of defence in reducing risk.

  • Research – to aid understanding and put paid to any complacency, Graeme also presents the latest research and realities on business fraud with case studies.

Register now by emailing bizclub@aspiringlaw.co.nz or by phoning us on 03 443 0900. Remember to let us know how many of your team are coming. Numbers are limited, so, to avoid disappointment, don’t delay in registering.

Graeme, who is based in Christchurch, retired early last year from major accounting firm Grant Thornton – where he’d served in several senior roles, including deputy chair – to focus on governance and consulting. He is now director of McGlinn Consulting Group Limited, his own specialist forensic and litigation support practice, and holds several external governance roles as director and trustee.

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