The first Treasury Dragons Virtual Round Table, supported by Bottomline, brought 10 senior treasury leaders together to share experiences of combatting fraud and cybercrime in treasury
The meeting, which gathered a group of ten treasury leaders from larger corporations, aimed to share experiences of fraud and cybercrime and focus on ways to mitigate what is a growing threat for treasury teams worldwide.
To manage this, one treasurer had established a rota system for senior executives to authorise payments. Each week, the authorisers are notified that they're authorising that week and they have to make themselves available.
“When we first started, we got the classic response from some very senior people, saying, 'I'm far too busy. I just can't do that. We had the group's CFO have word with them, and then they had to take part. It took probably six weeks to get it really moving.”
For another treasurer, the rise of e-signatures to replace physical ones has created yet more headaches. She discovered that personal assistants were being asked by their bosses to e-sign on their behalf - so a system that should have distributed approvals across several execs had in fact concentrated that power in one PA. “We then made sure that no one single PA controlled any two signatures that could authorise a payment or document.”
This wasn’t the only example of technology opening up risks. Several treasurers identified with the group member who pointed out that, in downloading payment files from an ERP system for upload to the bank for payment, encryption was essential, otherwise, “someone can get into those files and create fraud just by changing a bank account number.”
For most, however, the increasing use of technology was seen as a driver of better security. One Bottomline Technologies expert pointed out that treasurers now had the opportunity to deploy some of the sophisticated anti-fraud measures used by banks that would monitor activity and identify those out-of-the ordinary transactions for further investigation.
Whatever the individual responses to specific fraud types, one thing was clear for all the treasurers present: The importance of a robust process for payment approval that has anti-fraud measures built in from the start. Having these sometimes onerous processes in place can sometime open up treasury for criticism but, as one treasurer put it: “We get a lot of complaints from people that want to make quick payments, but we prefer to make a correct payment rather than a quick payment.”
This Treasury Dragons Virtual Round Table was supported by Bottomline Technologies.