Jessica Kaczor, BPS
2 October 2019Analysis

Accounting firm BPS expands fraud prevention services

Bauknight, Pietras & Stormer (BPS), the South Carolina-based accounting, assurance and tax consulting firm, is expanding its fraud prevention services, with Jessica Kaczor, a certified public accountant, qualifying as a certified fraud examiner (CFE).

White collar crime, cost businesses around the world more than $7 billion in losses in 2018, according to BPS.

Occupational fraud, as it is officially called, hit small businesses – those with less than 100 employees – particularly hard, with average median losses of $200,000, versus $104,000 for those with more than 100 employees.

“Any financial loss is damaging, but losses in the six figures is enough to put a privately held company out of business,” said Kaczor. “Many times the financial losses are incremental and occur over many months so it’s not obvious what is happening.”

Kaczor, an audit professional whose practice is focused on the captive insurance, distribution, manufacturing and telecom industries, said 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, she said, and in most cases victims recovered nothing.

Kaczor said she had earned her CFE certification because of her desire to create awareness among BPS clients, and her love of psychology. “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,” she said. “The goal at BPS is to help clients understand their risk and then implement proactive anti-fraud strategies to protect them.”

Russell Bauknight. managing shareholder at BPS, said: “No organisation is immune from occupational fraud. Risk is particularly acute for smaller companies that have fewer resources to dedicate to fraud prevention.”