Major changes continue to sweep across the business-to-business (B2B) payments scene. The COVID-19 pandemic is making paper-based transactions increasingly challenging, and the adoption of faster payments rails is on the rise. A multitude of accounts payable (AP) departments are therefore putting security top of mind as they update and adapt to these shifts.
Many AP teams have switched to digital invoicing and payment methods to enable their staff to work from home or to reach vendors whose employees are operating remotely. Safely pivoting to digital AP requires putting financial staff on high alert to combat the fraudsters eager to capitalize on confusion during this adjustment period, however. More U.S. businesses are also considering adopting real-time payments rails to send money instantly to suppliers, but an organization focused on the faster payments space is urging caution and warning financial institutions (FIs) to take additional efforts to protect such transactions from bad actors.
The August-September CFO’s Guide To Digitizing B2B Payments Report examines how finance departments are catching and thwarting fraud.
Around The B2B Payments World
Fraudsters have recently been launching waves of business email compromise (BEC) schemes in which they masquerade as company executives in emails to AP staff. They attempt to convince AP employees to change suppliers’ payment details or issue payments that route directly into fraudsters’ bank accounts. This is a rapidly growing problem, too, with BEC-based payment and invoicing fraud rising 200 percent between April and May.
Companies also have to keep an eye on potential internal fraud. Firms with manual, paper-based AP systems are especially at risk of this, as some have required financial staff to take home check printers to keep issuing payments during the pandemic, Neal Anderson, CEO and president of AP and accounts receivable (AR) automation company OnPay Solutions, said in a recent interview. Such an approach can ultimately tempt employees into printing company checks for personal use, however.
Digital AP tools are helping some companies crack down on scams and errors, however. Three-way invoice-matching is one such solution that can quickly compare information on invoices, purchase orders and receipts to ensure that all details jibe. Discrepancies could mean that some of the product has gone missing or that pricing terms have been misapplied, for example. Catching these problems thus prevents AP teams from overpaying.
Find out more about these and all the rest of the B2B payments headlines in the report.
How AP Teams Can Protect Independent Contractor Payouts From Fraud
Language services companies need to deliver payments to thousands of independent contractors around the globe, but some fraudsters are eager to slip their own fake invoices into these transaction streams and steal payouts for themselves. AP departments therefore must be able to catch such malicious attacks — as well as detect and fix honest invoicing mistakes — or risk seeing their budgets depleted. In this month’s Feature Story, Toni Tornell, controller at language services provider United Language Group, discusses these problems and explains the AP procedures and technologies that can help companies accurately and securely pay independent contractors.
Download the report to read the story.
Deep Dive: How CFOs Take On AP Fraud And Data Security
Financial departments face myriad threats, with cybercriminals trying to steal sensitive data and scammers attempting to dupe AP staff with fake invoices and BEC schemes. Chief financial officers are paying serious attention to these challenges and are investing in defenses to thwart them, however. This month’s Deep Dive examines the risks AP departments face and how companies are using automation technologies and other strategies to detect and block fraud.
Get the full scoop in the report.
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