Times are tough, and that means more and more customers are resorting to credit fraud to keep their business afloat. Spotting some of the signs of fraud isn’t that difficult — if you or your Credit people know where to look.
Consider that 53% of companies last year reported being the victims of some type of credit fraud, according to the Credit Research Foundation.
To protect you and your company, take a closer look at the debtor financial statement. Three pieces in particular are worth your attention, as noted in the September issue of What’s Working in Credit and Collection:
Assets. Can assets be confirmed by other sources — and are the assets consistent in proportion to annual sales? A statement that’s heavy on assets and light on debt might be an indicator of something fishy that requires further investigation.
Average balance. As part of a credit check, ask the customer’s bank to verify the average balance. Something could be amiss if the bank’s figure doesn’t match up with the statement you’re looking at.
Credentials of the preparer. You always want to be looking at an audited statement. Further, you always want to know who the auditor was.