COLUMBIA, S.C. (October 4, 2019) – In 2018, occupational fraud, sometimes called white collar crime, cost businesses around the world more than $7 billion in losses. Hardest hit were small businesses with less than 100 employees, whose average median loss was $200,000 versus $104,000 for those with more than 100 employees.
Bauknight, Pietras & Stormer (BPS), among the Southeast’s largest public accounting, assurance and tax consulting firms, seeks to make it harder for would-be criminals to harm what are, in most cases, their employers. Certified public accountant Jessica Kaczor has earned certification as a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), enabling BPS to expand its fraud prevention services to its national and regional clientele.
According to Kaczor, an audit professional whose practice is focused on the captive insurance, distribution, manufacturing and telecom industries, weak internal controls are responsible for nearly half of all fraud cases. Internal audits and management reviews detect only about 25 percent of internal fraud. In most cases, victims recovered nothing.
“Any financial loss is damaging, but losses in the six figures is enough to put a privately held company out of business,” says Kaczor. “Many times the financial losses are incremental and occur over many months so it’s not obvious what is happening.”
A desire to create awareness among BPS clients and a love of psychology motivated Kaczor to earn the CFE certification. “As an auditor, I’m trained to look for inconsistencies in a company’s financial reporting. CFE training amplifies that awareness and brings an entirely new level of insight into how and why people commit fraud,” Kaczor explains. “The goal at BPS is to help clients understand their risk and then implement proactive anti-fraud strategies to protect them.”
BPS Managing Shareholder Russell Bauknight says expanded fraud prevention services are a welcome addition to the firm’s professional services. “BPS is pleased to offer our clients expanded forensic accounting and anti-fraud strategies thanks in part to Jessica’s commitment to this highly specialized discipline. No organization is immune from occupational fraud. Risk is particularly acute for smaller companies that have fewer resources to dedicate to fraud prevention. We look forward to helping BPS clients avoid losses due to fraud.”
Kaczor, who joined BPS in 2016, earned a Master of Accounting and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Kennesaw State University. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, South Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants, and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Kaczor is also a classically trained dancer who continues to perform professionally.