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{b2c334eadc11e85d85e7d69ea6071353c57eb82a7d535ea251e0a34fd19231a4} 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.

 

Business

Closing a deal with another company for the transfer of goods for payment seems like it should be easy. However, when dealing with multiple moving parts in a deal exchange involving two different companies, it can be complex. More specifically, when creating a product that needs to meet a specific specification for resale or company use. That is why a contract is needed. Arrangements can be complicated and involve a lot of work. That is why I’ve comprised some tips on how to make your contracts as airtight as possible.

Airtight Contracts

1. Negotiate
This is where you don’t leave anything out, don’t hold your breath. Make your priorities and concerns known. Don’t move on to a different issue until the current solution is reached.

2. Document negotiations
Keep track of what everyone is saying. This is important when resolving conflict and creating solutions.

3. Be concise & detailed
You should be able to understand the contract with ease. You should cut any unnecessary words or phrases. The obligations of each party should be spelled out in specific language that doesn’t leave any room for mixed interpretation. Having a detailed product requirements and clear Statement of Work (SOW) for the project manager, will help confusion. If not, it will result in the organization not receiving the agreed upon product or services.

4. Include payment details
The objective of a contract is for the buyer to receive expected product while the seller receives payment. In many complex deals with multiple moving parts, the buyer can pay the seller along the way as milestones are completed.

5. Include Language on How to Terminate the Contract
This should be in the contract in the case that one party doesn’t uphold their end of the bargain. It will be easier to deal with these situations before they become real life.

6. Don’t start until it’s signed
There is no need to rush into a project before the contract is signed. This could lead to unnecessary work.

The Contract Team

When creating a contract, it is important to have the right people around you. Finding the correct stakeholders that will produce the product. In a smaller business this might only be the owner and another person, but in a large business, it can involve many different individuals. For example, a large company may have a project manager, engineering manager, manufacturing manager, financial manager or support manager. The objective is to find those managers that will speak honestly about being able to complete your contract specifics. Most importantly the schedule. How long will it take their team to create the product? The worst thing that can happen is not being able to uphold the project’s timeline.

The Product

After the client signs the contract, your project manager takes over. If the contract is clear and concise with the correct information to create a specific product, then the project team should have no problem with knowing precisely what they are supposed to produce. Some problems that will arise in the project process can’t be avoided but, with these tips, it should help avoid most

 

Business

Way long ago in 1998–yes, that long ago–B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore published a piece in Harvard Business Review (link at the end of this article) that the experience economy had arrived. And, sure, in 20th Century terms, it had. As they explained in their article, the progression began with families buying items, such as Betty Crocker, because there was less kitchen time to prepare the ingredients for a child’s birthday cake. Then parents started going to the bakery store to pick up cakes for their kids and no longer making the cake at home. And, eventually in the late part of the 20th Century, with more work and other demands, families started to outsource the entire birthday to soup-to-nuts groups that did everything, such as Chuck E. Cheese and the Discovery Zone.

And now we’re in the 21st Century, and experience matters even more and companies are beginning to try out different technologies, for instance, virtual reality and augmented reality. Major corporations, such as Facebook and Apple, have made substantial investments into those technologies because the future is coming quickly and I wouldn’t be surprised if in 2018 we see some other global experience, such as Pokémon Go.

Smart marketers understand that creating an experience–with technology–is essential to being able to sell a product or service in today’s world. So, how do you do it?

Customer Experience Continuum

An essential activity to create an excellent customer experience program is not only to have excellent customer service but to go further and understand what your customer experience is from start to finish. From the moment a prospect sends you an email, places a call to your office or messages you in some way, what is the experience your company provides? Understand the entirety of the customer experience from the moment they initially reach out and to what happens after the purchase.

Words Matter for Customer Experience Principles

Once you understand the experience that occurs, and more importantly what you want to make sure your leads experience, you have to ask yourself (and your team) to help you develop principles that will guide the experience from start to finish. In this case, words matter. For example, are you looking for your clients to have “fun” while they partner with you? Are you looking for “excellence in communication”? Whatever the words are that matter to you, develop principles around them and ensure everyone on your team is onboard.

Data In and What Comes Out?

When you’re talking about data, your CRM is everything. You want to make sure your CRM captures everything that is essential to know about your leads and clients. If your team isn’t inputting every touchpoint with your customers, accurately, then you’re not going to be able to anticipate their needs. Part of the customer experience is to know what your prospects and partners are going to want, even before they want it. As an example, in one of my companies, our former partners get reminders at regular intervals about scheduling their next fundraiser with us.

Provide a Sensory Experience

Everyone is used to having many experiences throughout the day. If they’re scrolling social media, your leads and clients are being “marketed” to with live streams, videos or images. Corporations are moving toward providing people virtual experiences and with technology tools. Granted, we’re in the early stages of these types of moments, but it’s already started. If you want to buy a diamond ring, you can see the ring virtually on your hand by supplying a photo. You can also see how furniture will look in your home with apps and a VR headset. Think out of the box and discover creative ways to bring your products and services to market.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

If you’re not using it already, consider looking into your Net Promoter Score, or NPS. This measuring tool goes beyond simple customer satisfaction. The index calculation, based on the responses of your customers regarding how likely they would be to recommend you to others, helps you understand and predict future revenue growth. The best type of sales you can make are those based on the recommendations of others, particularly if you can predict revenue growth.

Humans haven’t changed since the publication by Pine and Gilmore in the HBR article. The only thing that has changed significantly is how technology has transformed our lives and the world writ large. Humans, however, have always wanted the same thing in a product or service. Consumers want the experience they have with your business to match the expectations they had in their mind when they first inquired about your product or service.

 

Business

Organizing an event implies confronting many decisions. Thus, choosing a venue, catering and assuring pleasant experiences, definitely sounds intimidating. The earlier the better, beginning to search based on your budget, space requirement and estimated event size is ideal. Booking before 4-6 months gives you enough planning time.

Putting all these together, finding the right venue for your event or meeting may be daunting and also time-consuming. Here are six tips to focus your decision-making in venue choosing.

1. Location

This is the key factor in choosing a venue for the meeting. The location you choose should be based on your attendees’ convenience and should facilitate free parking or easy transport links. However, the dedicated meeting venues stay focused to meet your needs and also consider outdoor space.

2. Budget

Researching is inevitable, yet before initiating your research, arrive at a budget so that you can keep that at the line and avoid getting tempted to expensive venues. Take care that you also do not consider very cheap venues as it may require compromising on services or you will be hit with hidden costs later while settling the bill. Choose a venue with great facilities, good value, service and food. Read testimonial of customers and without fail check the credentials. If the venue has acquired industry awards recently, it indicates quality venue.

3. Services and Facilities

Good venues provide great services and facilities as their regular norm. You can also expect benefits as an integral part of a package including meeting equipments, syndicate and meeting rooms, stationary, technological support, creative toolkits for the meeting and refreshments. Your delegates may also require accommodation if they are coming from distance, so check if your venue can provide accommodation.

4. Space

Ascertain the event venue meets your needs. An intimate venue is required for smaller meetings so that it suits your needs. However, if your event is large, consider a venue featuring breakout rooms, ample meeting space, accommodation, restaurants, leisure facilities and outside space.

5. Response Times

On narrowing down your event venue, consider the response time taken by the sales team of the venue to contact you. This will give you an indication of their service. Also consider a visit before booking the venue. There is a need to check in person about the location and the requirements before giving a shot.

6. Site visits

On visiting a site, consider these things:

· The welcome from reception you receive and ensure all your delegates will receive typical response.

· Check if the venue is well-kept, tidy and clean.

· Car parking facility availability, is it free or if it is full.

· The behavior of the staff is very important, see if they are welcoming, warm and friendly.

· Is there enough space outside so that it can be used during the break-our sessions.

· Does the conference and training facility fulfill your needs and are there essential equipments.

· Can you eat there and are you allowed to sample food, meet chef and discuss menu choices before booking.

 

Business

Who can use an errand running service?

Who wouldn’t appreciate a helping hand in today’s hectic lifestyle? Bachelors, Bachelorette’s, Single mum’s, Dads, Youngsters and Seniors alike appreciate the idea of someone getting their errands done on time. Busy business owners are now able to focus on work rather than worrying about getting their mundane tasks done.

5 benefits of hiring an errand running service:

1. Saves Time

Errand running service will take care of all your daily tasks and allow you to spend time to do what you like. Be it watching soccer, a day at the Spa, enjoying a movie night with friends or building your business, having someone take care of your chores saves your precious time.

2. Reduces Stress

Getting timely help reduces your stress level. With someone taking care of all the tedious jobs like fetching a medicine that you run out of, or fetching your weekly groceries, you can be at peace; with the assurance that your worries are taken care of.

3. Increases productivity

Having someone to take care of your daily tasks gives you all the time you need to focus on the jobs that require your attention. If you work from home, you can have someone run errands while you can fulfil your business goals each day. Usage is high compared to other benefit programs, so the value of the program is greatly enhanced.

4. Affordable

At one time it was only the rich that used this service, but not anymore. More and more errand running startups make their move in simplifying lifestyles and their service charge has also become affordable that almost everyone hoping to get a helping hand love the idea of getting errands done.

5. Increased Quality

Trusting your friend or your neighbour to take care of your tasks may not be a good decision as you could burden them with your tasks. On the other hand, an errand running service has its reputation at stake. So hiring a professional and experienced errand running service may be the best solution for you to tackle your daily issues.

A new mother running out of baby essentials, your aged parent who counts on you for their medical supplies, or even when you realize that you have not paid your bills, or you need to deposit a cheque, if you are quite familiar with such situations, then you can definitely understand the vital role played by errand running service.