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Aug 1, 2013

A seminar to stamp out fraud

Colin Mitchell

Forty-eight persons from the public and private sector attended the third part in a business fraud seminar at the Biltmore Hotel today. The organizers say that accountability and honesty in keeping businesses legitimate are important to the development of the private sector. Fraud can severely stress the financial stability of a business and can even result in closures of establishments. But to prevent fraud is a time consuming task that takes place in ledgers and accounts. That is why Morris, Stephens, Magana has taken the task of hosting a seminar on the issue. Colin Mitchell, the director of auditing for the firm said that this is the third and final part in the series on fraud. 


Colin Mitchell, Director of Auditing, Morris, Stephens, Magana LLP

“We’re covering what is called the acquisitions cycle and that has to do with purchasing, cash disbursements and payroll. And what we are trying to teach these people is how to develop good internal controls in their organizations that will help to prevent fraud.”


Jose Sanchez

“How is fraud committed inside the business?”


Collin Mitchell

“Well it depends on the particular business and where there is opportunity for committing fraud. For those business that don’t have sufficient people; that they can have adequate separation of duties. Sometimes it is the most trusted employee that devises schemes to steal from the business. So it really depends on the level of controls that they have and how closely the managers and owners watch what’s going on within the business.”


Jose Sanchez

“Can you give me a general idea of what is taking place?”


Collin Mitchell

“Well right now, we’re doing some exercises that have to do with what are called controlled matrices, which are devices that we use to show how the various controls in the business affect certain activities that occur and get disclosed in financial statements. In addition to that, they have to answer a couple of questions relating to acquisitions that we discussed earlier on in the day. After they’ve completed that, we will probably go to a quick break and then when we come back, we will be talking about the cash disbursement cycle and what controls are necessary there and how fraud might occur there and how you might discover it and how you might prevent it.”

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4 Responses for “A seminar to stamp out fraud”

  1. Bulba Martinez says:

    As most of us in Belize know, “FRAUD” is next to impossible to prove in our Courts of Law in Belize. In my view, our laws should be amended but then again, that too is impossible because those that we elected are not “TRUSTWORTHY” and conveniently apply and enforce the laws for their own benefit. Mr. Mitchell need to invite these people to his seminar and hopefully steer our country back in the right direction. Let us start with Ministry Of Natural Resources people!!

  2. Bulba Martinez says:

    As most of us know in our beloved country of Belize, “FRAUD” is next to impossible to prove in our Court of law. Those who we elected and failed us miserably apply and enforce our laws for their convenience and benefit, which has created international or rather global disgrace to our country caused by “FRAUD” among other things, so amending our laws will also be impossible. I think Mr. Mitchell should personally invite these Elected Members to his seminar and hopefully one day steer our country back to where it once was in the past. Let’s start with The Ministry Of Natural Resources. Nuff Love Belize. Ayo!!

  3. Carlos says:

    Fraud is committed by the people holding mgmt. post, e.g you have a manager and accountant, both are in collusion but who will report them, nobody knows what is going on at the top. They are the two people the employees look up to, and who are the employees to question them? I want someone to answer that, and don’t tell me that whistle blow will work because it will not. You the whistle blower will go home because they will plant something on you. This is Belize People and our country stinks right about now.



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