By BE Ad Features In an increasingly perplexing and high-tech world, owners of small to mid-sized private companies are running across a new set of confusing challenges.
* How to ensure you have the proper levels of capital and financing to successfully grow your business.
* How to develop a plan and longer term strategy to achieve your overall business objective.
* How to improve tax positions while maximizing cash flow; how to reduce tax liability while increasing family wealth via the intelligent use of income shifting strategies.
* How to evaluate the risk of fraud or theft within your organization; how to skillfully conduct a successful investigation when such abuses occur.
You can boil down the answers to one trusted name: Deloitte.
By enlisting Deloitte's Mid-Market Group, owners of private companies gain access to the most trusted business advisers in Canada.
Deloitte offers a unique combination of expertise and highly personalized service. Their professionals will work closely with you to learn the financial and human needs of your organization and to set its course on the road to enduring prosperity.
One of the most highly- specialized services offered by Deloitte's Mid-Market Group addresses sensitive issues that can cause enormous pain and ruthlessly drain the resources of privately-owned, often family controlled businesses.
These include fraud, theft, computer misuse and/or sexual harassment.
To tackle and to neutralize such potentially explosive issues, Deloitte's Mid-Market group recruited Brian Tario to lead its Forensic and Investigative Services team.
Tario joined Deloitte after a distinguished 24-year career as an RCMP investigator, including a successful two-year assignment to bring perpetrators of a money-laundering scheme to justice.
"We offer much more than just fraud investigation," Tario said recently. "Many private business operators don't realize Deloitte employs professionals engaged in just this sort of problem-solving activity," he continued.
"We determine what happened, who caused it, what were the damages and how to prevent similar problems from happening again."
Tario's team also reminds their clients that by laying careful groundwork to protect themselves against fraud, they're taking important steps to ensure their future prosperity.
They show small and mid-sized businesses how to re-structure procedures and processes to minimize risks, from segregation of employee duties to cash handling to inventory control.
"Some people think they own inventory because they see a box on the shelf," he cited a useful example. "We've seen situations in which whole pallets of goods have come into a warehouse in shrinkwrap. Investigators found that the goods in the middle of the pallet were gone and the load re-wrapped and put on the shelf."
Tario's team preaches strict control over the cash on site as well as the need for proprietors to establish a tone of care, respect and ethical behaviour which extends to all employees. Tario calls it the Tone From The Top.
"It boils down to an ethical code of conduct, in terms of the way you run your business," he said. "If the boss isn't careful with expenses, for example, what sort of tone does that set for the rest of the staff?" The Forensic and Investigative Services team has handled dozens of cases of expense account fraud, but this insidious crime can reveal itself in a hundred different ways.
Tario teaches techniques that enable owners to identify potential fraudsters while suggesting structural changes within the company that can minimize the risk of an incident ever taking place.
"It's an old adage in my business that most frauds are discovered by accident," Tario explained. But Deloitte's Forensic and Investigative Services team approaches workplace theft methodically, scientifically and, above all, discreetly.
Owners of private businesses are urged to take responsibility for their own in-house security. "Do your own diligence. Don't just know your customers, know your employees. Let them know that fraud and theft will not be tolerated. And know your systems," Tario cautioned.
And when a fraud or theft has taken place, the Forensic and Investigative Services team goes straight to work as quietly and thoroughly as possible.
"Whether that means using our forensic computer tools or conducting discreet personal interviews, our goal is to conclude the investigation as efficiently and quickly as possible. Then we place a full written report into the client's hands," Tario said.
"Fraud is a $400-billion industry," he concluded. "Private operators should take positive steps to make sure they're protected."
For more information on the Forensic and Investigative Services team, plus other ways Deloitte's Mid-Market team can help your private business to thrive, please call 403.267.0618. Visit Deloitte's website: www.deloitte.ca.