This would not have happened with Accounts Payable Automation.

A man from Lithuania pleaded guilty to US wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering charges, admitting that he had stolen $99m from Facebook and $23m from Google between 2013 and 2015. The man merely sent Google and Facebook invoices for items they hadn’t purchased and that he hadn’t provided, which the companies paid anyway. As reported by Bloomberg, according to the indictment the man registered and incorporated a Latvian company with the same name as the Asian computer hardware manufacturer Quanta Computer Inc. who are a supplier to Facebook and Google.

So how did these fraudulent invoices get paid? Apparently, no one checked first to see if these corresponded to invoices/POs that had been issued within the companies.

Dataline’s APA+ System offers a robust Accounts Payable solution, ensures that an invoice does not get paid without an automated or manual approval. The Purchase Order Process can be an automated approval and the Non-Purchase Order Process is approved in a digital workflow.

The Purchase Order Process;

This is an automated procedure where an invoice is scanned, the software then does a look up in the accounting system for the purchase order and the receipt of goods. Without this digital lookup, an Accounts Payable Employee is required to complete the task. In the case above, the Accounts Payable Team did not follow process. This is why Accounts Payable Automation works, as it takes the manual process away from the human being and ensures that procedure is followed.

Non-Purchase Order Process;

When an invoice is received and the invoice does not relate to a purchase order in the accounting system, then the invoice is routed to an approval workflow platform. The digital workflow is based on the business rules and the invoice will not be paid, until the invoice is approved by a manager and then receipted against the goods.

The above is another example of the risks taken by business that continue to follow manual AP process, outsource AP payables or utilise an Accounts Payable system that has weak integration.

In the case of what happened to all the money, $50m has been recovered, its not clear what happened to the other $73m.