Financial irregularity the bane of our age
From corporate fraud at Enron through to the Libor scandal of today, financial irregularity seems to be the bane of our age. With other notable examples such as endowment mortgages, pensions and PPI miss-selling; MPs expenses, aggressive tax avoidance by wealthy individuals and organised tax avoidance by global corporations, financial malpractice scandals have become commonplace. There seems to be cultural entrenchment of an attitude to avoid paying what is due or obtaining cash to which there is no entitlement.
‘Moral’, right or wrong?
There is much talk of a ‘moral’ dimension to financial wrong doing; for many, however, with ‘moral’ taken out of the context of organised religion, such a concept is largely meaningless. There is only each individual’s sense of right and wrong, and many see it wrong that so many cheat the system, not out of necessity, but out of greed; this leads them to conclude that it is right to take advantage of ‘the system’ to get whatever they can for themselves when the opportunity presents itself.
Tax avoidance at the top
The Tax Justice Network recently estimated that across the world, at least £13 trillion is being hidden in offshore tax havens. With a collective asset based wealth put at £414bn by The Times Rich List in April 2012, how much of this has been squirreled away by the top 1,000 wealthiest people in theUK?
Riot at the bottom of society
The UK summer riots of 2011 are largely characterised as mindless criminality and dismissed as the consequence of gang oriented culture of a youth preoccupied with sports clothing, computer gaming and big flat screen TVs.
However, it seems highly unlikely that there is no connection between the growing wealth gap and the mood of those at the bottom of society, or a disenfranchised generation just entering adulthood that is inheriting a world with a growing number of deep rooted social, economic and environmental problems.
With a tolerant attitude to financial wrong doing so systemically established at the top of society, and many seemingly ‘getting away with it’, there should be little surprise that those at the bottom of the wealth ladder harbour deep resentments that may explode as violent disorder.
White-collar crime and expenses fraud in the middle
The squeezed middle of society also shares this resentment, however, it tends not to explode; it often manifests itself as ‘white-collar crime’ and research supports the fact that expenses fraud is an obvious example of such activity. In organisations that retain manual expenses systems and processes, trusted employees have the opportunity to misuse business expense accounts to provide perks for themselves, family and friends.
Expense On Demand minimises the opportunity for fraud
Expense On Demand provides online expenses management that prevent your organisation’s expenses system being abused by the culture of financial irregularity. The solution automates manual processes, speeds up submission, authorisation and payment while locking in compliance. Follow this link to download our free guide ‘Expenses fraud: How to beat it’.