Single Course

Accounts Payable Risk and Fraud Prevention

Accounting and Auditing

Course Summary:

Accounts Payable (AP) is the one business function that, in many organizations, is more vulnerable to fraud than any other. That is because all funds that flow out of the organization must first pass through AP. And over time, dishonest insiders and vendors have created newer and craftier methods of stealing from organizations by exploiting control weaknesses in the AP function.

Result: It is more important than ever for management to allocate professional and financial resources to eliminating these control weaknesses. This almost always starts with learning about the types of AP fraud that can victimize your organization. It is then necessary to determine which controls are already in place to prevent such crimes. From there, internal audit plans can be adjusted to include tests and methodologies for identifying the red flags of possible AP fraud. This enables management to initiate further examination of suspicious findings and ultimately to apprehend offenders and remediate control weaknesses.

Course Objectives:

  • Identifying risks associated with all key activities of the accounts payable function
  • Learning the advantages of effective compliance training for the accounts payable team
  • Exploring accounts payable controls needed to enhance control environment and mitigate opportunities for fraud
  • Motivating critical personnel to enhance your control environment
  • Implement effective AP fraud detection techniques and build audit practices to detect red flags of AP fraud.
  • Implement best-practice Anti-Fraud Control strategies for AP.
  • Advise management on fraud risk mitigation through transaction monitoring, technology/information technology tools and low-cost internal controls.
  • Recommend better anti-fraud management structure (Board of Directors/Executive Management, Line Management, Compliance, General Counsel, etc.)

Course Outline


  • Statistical overview of the fraud problem
  • Who commits fraud
  • Why employees commit fraud (The Fraud Triangle)
  • Lessons from fraudsters

Common Types of AP Fraud Today

  • Vendor/billing fraud schemes
  • ACH fraud
  • Fraudulent AP financial reporting
  • Kickbacks/bribery
  • Conflicts of interest
  • P-Card fraud

Red Flags of AP Fraud

  • Conducting a Fraud Risk Assessment and Recognizing the Red Flags of Internal Fraud
  • The Fraud Risk Mitigation Cycle
  • Implementing an organization-wide system for detecting, preventing and investigating fraud

Fraud Detection

  • How Frauds Are Most Often Detected
  • Additional General Detection Methods
  • Data Mining/Analytics for fraud detection
  • Examples of Fraud Audit Techniques at Work

Anti- Fraud Controls for Account Payable

  • Internal Controls and Other Fraud Prevention Measures:
  • Who Should Manage Anti Fraud Activities for AP
  • Internal Controls: Do’s and Don’ts
  • General controls: Segregation of Duties, Delegation of Authority, Background Investigation
  • Specific AP Operations-Level Controls.

Sophisticated ways fraudsters are targeting your Accounts Payable department especially during the current global pandemic

  • Fraud during COVID-19 and mitigating the risk
  • Business Email Compromise, the associated red flags, and how to prevent it
  • Working in partnership to prevent fraud in AP

Critical Anti-Fraud Audits under Procurement and Accounts Payable

  • A basic understanding of fraud and the different types of fraud that can occur
  • The fraud triangle and statistics from the ACFE
  • Different data analysis tools that can be utilized (ACL vs. IDEA or just Excel)
  • Understanding the data that A/P or IT can provide for analysis
  • Different data analysis tests that can be performed on accounts payable data
  • Examples of proactive accounts payable anti-fraud reviews
  • Different data analysis tests that can be performed on purchasing data

Electronic Payment Fraud Prevention Best Practices

  • Identify the types of ACH payments
  • Differentiate between six types of ACH payment fraud, including the two fastest growing types
  • Understand and address the issues around the BYOD issue as it affects your organization’s payment process
  • Navigate around the limited legal protection from your bank
  • Instruct your bank to use certain products to protect your company
  • Implement best payment process practices that affect ACH payments to protect your organization