May 19, 2020

Six tips to prevent workplace fraud

anna smith
3 min
Six tips to prevent workplace fraud

Business owners need to be proactive in their attempts to prevent tax avoidance in the workplace, as tough new laws are set to be introduced.

This is according to Aziz Rahman, Senior Partner at serious and corporate crime defence specialists Rahman Ravelli, who has warned that accountants, tax planners and other financial professionals will come under increased scrutiny.

Rahman said that the hard-hitting proposals require further clarification, as there are still too many “grey areas”.

He commented: “When does tax planning tip over into tax avoidance? Can fines be issued even if the guidance given by tax advisers is not strictly illegal? Will tax advisers face fines even if they warned clients about possible risks?

“Some high-profile cases have involved schemes that were only deemed to be illegal years after they were established. This puts financial professionals in the firing line even though they may have genuinely believed that these schemes were lawful.”

While the new rules will directly target financial professionals, the onus is still on business owners to ensure that their company is legally compliant.

To make this task easier, Rahman has shared six essential tips to prevent tax avoidance in the workplace.

1. Due diligence

“If you are a small company with just the one accountant - who is either on the staff or hired from an accountancy firm - hold regular meetings with them and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you are a major company, make sure your finance department is regularly audited - and, ideally, subject to unannounced checks.”

2. Check the legality of tax schemes

“If a tax scheme is proposed by either a member of staff or an outside party, you have to check that it is legal. If it seems too good to be true, unnecessarily complex or those proposing it cannot produce evidence of how it works, it is best to steer clear - or at the very least seek legal advice about the proposal.”

3. Develop an anti-fraud culture

“Companies of all sizes must make it clear to staff and third parties who work with them that fraud will not be tolerated. Creating a company handbook that emphasises this and introducing anti-fraud training for staff can help develop the culture of honesty.”

4. Assess your vulnerability

“Do your research. A company should examine the way its tax affairs are handled and consider whether it needs to tighten up the way financial matters are managed and scrutinised; whether it has just one accountant or a whole finance department.”

5. Introduce anti-fraud procedures

“Procedures should be designed to prevent opportunities for individuals to be able to handle finances without being scrutinised by colleagues. If companies are unsure exactly what they should be introducing, they should seek legal advice.”

6.  Whistleblowing

“If staff know or suspect that tax fraud is being committed by a colleague, it can often be difficult for them to speak up if they are not sure who they should be reporting it to. Every company, however small or large, needs to have a system in place for employees to report their suspicions confidentially - and for those suspicions to be investigated.”
 

 

Follow @BizReviewCANADA

Read the December 2016 issue of Business Review USA & Canada magazine

Share article

Jun 10, 2021

G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve

G7
G7Summit
Sustainability
EU
3 min
Business Chief delves into what the G7 is and represents and what its 2021 summit hopes to achieve

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration. 

 

Who are the G7?

The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like. 

The merry band comprises:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.

 

Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda. 

 

When was the ‘G’ formed?

Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s. 

 

Why does the G7 exist?

At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted. 

 

The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability. 

 

It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations. 

 

Where is the 2021 G7 summit?

This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall. 
 

What will be discussed this year? 

After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”

 

The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values. 

 

According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.” 

 

Share article