Blog   Tagged ‘associate’

The business of doing good: How to manage your non-profit’s finances (Part 3)

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Recently, UMB hosted a group of almost 40 representatives from Colorado Springs non-profits to talk about a variety of financial management tips for non-profit organizations. In my previous blog posts I highlighted two topics that came up during the conversation: streamlined fundraising processes and supporter/employee enthusiasm. The third subject we discussed was the idea that non-profits need a bank that acts as an extension of the organization.

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Most people probably don’t automatically make the connection between a bank and a non-profit, but the two organizations can work together to create a productive partnership. An important part of the support non-profits need to thrive is the relationship they have with their bank. Since funding is the primary way to ensure that the non-profit can continue to operate, good financial management is key. A strong relationship between a non-profit and their bank may give the staff peace of mind and help them to focus on doing good things for their community and less about their financial management.

Some challenges that non-profits face include getting sufficient funding, board and associate development and staff retention. Your bank may be able to direct you to resources that can help you overcome these challenges:

A good relationship with your bank can also help your organization achieve a sound financial structure. In addition to keeping the organization up and running, a solid balance sheet could help attract new leadership to your organization. One of our non-profit clients came to us with a potential board member who was interested in joining the organization’s investment board. The potential board member was passionate about the organization but concerned about their investment risk management. After talking with UMB and the non-profit leadership about the investment risk, he was no longer worried and joined the board because he could focus on his passion for the organization.

Non-profits offer many invaluable services to their communities. While these organizations differ from for-profit businesses in their mission and goals, they have the same business principles. Treating the financial management of a non-profit like a business helps the organization in the long run because they’re able to focus on serving the needs of their community.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mr. Doyle is community bank president for UMB’s Colorado Springs region. He is responsible for guiding strategic direction in the Colorado Springs region as a member of the Colorado management team. He joined UMB in 2011 and has eight years of experience in the financial services industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla. and a master’s degree in business administration from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla.

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The business of doing good: How to manage your non-profit’s finances (Part 2)

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The non-profit sector is a growing field and an important part of the economy. With so many organizations for people to choose from, how does a non-profit gain continuous support from donors? How do they attract associates and maintain staff enthusiasm for the organization? One answer is something you might not expect: cards.

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UMB hosted a group of almost 40 representatives from Colorado Springs non-profits to talk about a variety of financial management tips for non-profit organizations.

In my previous post I highlighted the first idea covered in this forum: stream-lined, full-service fundraising options for your supporters. Two additional ways to develop and maintain support from both groups are affinity cardprograms for the donors and a commercial card (also known as a corporate card) program for the staff.

Affinity Card

Affinity card programs give your supporters an easy way to donate to your organization. Every time they use the affinity card to make a purchase, a certain amount of money is donated to your organization. The amount will vary based on the card provider you use.

You can even personalize the card to display your logo or another image that represents your organization.

Sometimes organizations avoid programs like this because they think it’s too much hassle to maintain the program. Actually it’s easier than you think. The most important thing to remember is to research the program, the bank that sponsors it, and the terms and conditions of the card.

Commercial Card

Like affinity cards, some non-profit organizations avoid using commercial cards. They’re concerned it will cost them money and be more of an obstacle than a useful tool. Actually, you can use commercial cards to bring money back to your organization, not just to pay expenses. For example, if you sign up for a card with a rewards or rebate program, you could make money using your card. Or you could earn points toward other purchases for the organization.

Many cards offer a comprehensive set of payment solutions you can use to pay for everything from basic expenses to financing full-scale fundraiser events. These payment solutions often offer automated purchasing/payables for your bookkeeping, allowing you and your staff to be more efficient and focus on the work you’re doing in the community.

Other features and benefits of commercial cards include:

  • Spending Controls
  • Convenience
  • Reporting Capabilities

Creating enthusiasm from your donors and associates is easy because they’re passionate about supporting your organization and its mission. Maintaining that enthusiasm is sometimes more difficult and it often involves thinking about processes from their point of view. One way to do this is to establish programs that remove obstacles and allow them to focus on supporting the organization.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mr. Doyle is community bank president for UMB’s Colorado Springs region. He is responsible for guiding strategic direction in the Colorado Springs region as a member of the Colorado management team. He joined UMB in 2011 and has eight years of experience in the financial services industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla. and a master’s degree in business administration from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla.

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Internal fraud: Who they are and why they do it

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He looks like a typical associate. She could be a 20-something or a person in her fifties. He could be the person you eat lunch with every day. The truth is that you can’t pick out this person from the crowd. She is committing internal fraud in your company and doesn’t look any different from the rest of your co-workers. He makes sure he blends in.

So what should you look for if you suspect one of your associates is committing fraud?

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What to look for

  • A disgruntled associate who is vocal about their unhappiness with the company. They often use this as an excuse to commit fraud.
  • An overly enthusiastic associate who consistently ask questions about processes and procedures that will help them steal from the company.
  • A seemingly harmless associate with no apparent agenda. Their behavior won’t be as easy to spot as the first two. Having audits and checks/balances in place will likely help you catch them.

How they do it

These are not always tell-tale signs of fraud, but those who commit internal fraud are likely to:

  • Always be willing to take on additional tasks that could lead to fraud and have nothing to do with their current duties.
  • Learn as much as they can about company systems to use in conducting fraud. Systems can include but aren’t limited to: accounting, accounts payable/receivable, payroll, bank account access. They will look for weaknesses in policies or procedures.
  • Earn management’s trust with regard to the most vulnerable parts of the company.

Once they gather the necessary information and gain the trust of the company leaders, they will begin their plan. This could be creating “ghost” associates in payroll or diverting funds to a new account for a fake vendor. Sometimes it’s as simple as stealing money directly or even selling confidential company information on the internet.

Why they do it

The best example of why an associate will commit fraud is described by Dr. Donald Cressey as the Fraud Triangle Model, a tool for assessing the risk of fraud. Cressey was a criminologist who studied embezzlers.

Fraud Triangle

  • Pressure is often financial and usually stems from addiction, living beyond one’s means, major medical expenses, or gambling losses.
  • Rationalization is the explanation why the theft is not really wrong. Some associates tell themselves that it’s a loan and will be repaid. Others feel they are not paid enough and deserve more.
  • Opportunity is the opinion that a fraud can be committed without being caught. The thief sees poor internal controls, poor supervision, poor “tone at the top,” or a combination of these.

One of the best ways to avoid internal fraud is to set up regular, thorough audits and reviews of processes in your company. Stay tuned for an upcoming post that will go into more detail about how to catch internal fraud before it does serious damage to your business.


Dennis Knop is a vice president and corporate fraud investigator of UMB Bank, n.a. He has worked for UMB for 18 years, and 12 years of that in fraud investigation. He has a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Mr. Knop is a Certified Fraud Examiner and currently serves as the treasurer of the Midwest Financial Fraud Investigators Group in St. Louis, Mo.

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