Chartered Accountants

Forensic Accountants

Corporate Finance Advisers

Birchfields, Blake House, 18 Blake Street, York, YO1 8QG

Birchfields, 15 Queen Square, Leeds, LS2 8AJ

Birchfields, Birchfields Chartered Accountants, Birchfields Forensic Accountants and Birchfields Corporate Finance are trading styles of Birchfields Accountants Limited, company no. 10355693, registered in England and Wales.

Birchfields Forensic Accountants: Fraud Investigations

Birchfields are specialists in investigating financial fraud. Our team has extensive experience of cases involving fraud and can be used at any stage of the investigation. We are commonly invited by business owners to investigate potential fraud, e.g. suspicion of theft by staff, and to confidentially discover the full nature of and report on the fraud.

In a preventative role, we are well positioned to provide advice to business owners on how to improve systems to reduce the risk of further fraud.

Case Study - Fraud Investigations – Carousel Fraud

Our team investigated a business involved in the distribution of mobile phones, buying large quantities from distributers and selling smaller quantities to other distributers. A small margin was made on each transaction.

The chain of distributers was extensive and at least one of the chain disappeared, owing a large amount of VAT. HM Revenue & Customs commenced a detailed investigation on a number of the members of the chain, including the client, while withholding a large VAT refund.

Our team prepared a comprehensive report which reconciled the whole of the client's sales and goods purchased history with stock movements and individual customers.

Our team were able to prove that the client had accounted for all transactions and taxes correctly and therefore put forward a strong argument that the case against the client should be dropped.

Case Study - Fraud Investigations – Manipulating Sales Data to Increase Commissions

In this case our team was instructed to investigate the financial activities of a Defendant accused of fraudulently obtaining £100,000 in commissions from his employer, a software provider.

The Defendant had created a complex web of invoices, credit notes, cancellations and replacement invoices designed to boost monthly sales and increase the amount of sales commissions due to him from his employer.

Acting for the Defendant, Graham Garbett prepared a report based on a detailed examination of the employer’s financial affairs and interrogation of the company’s computer systems and audit trail.

Graham identified specific transactions where there was clear evidence that the Defendant had benefitted from commissions not due, but was also able to identify and quantify many transactions where there was an element of doubt as to whether the Defendant had benefitted.  There were substantial gaps in the audit trail, and poorly organised record retention, to the extent that, with Graham’s assistance, the Defendant was able to successfully argue that there was a lack of evidence supporting approximately 80% of the Prosecution’s case.

The Court confirmed that the Defendant was required to repay the amounts fraudulently obtained, but only those where the evidence was clear. The employer learned a valuable lesson, and has subsequently spent considerable effort tightening up their sales recording systems and controls.

tel: 01904 295360