BusinessPeople In BusinessOn the money with Gavin Hinks

On the money with Gavin Hinks

There’s very bad news in connection with the law making it an offence to bribe foreign officials

Gavin Hinks, editor of AccountancyAge

The first successful prosecution has taken place and it turns out it was the
finance director that did it.

I say bad news, but it is, of course, quite right and proper that someone
should pay for their crimes.
What’s bad about it is that it happens to be a finance director ­ a man of your
profession who has been found to be on the wrong side of the law.

Though the circumstances of the case are no doubt interesting, what strikes
me as relevant is that Neils Jorgen Tobiasen, FD of UK security company CBRN,
could well give investigators the idea that they should be looking for the FD
and probing what he or she knows in any future cases ­ a very unhappy precedent
indeed to be setting.

Of course, there might be some justification for this view. Only recently a
very successful private sector fraud investigator revealed how, when called in
to have a look at the disappearance of cash, he and his colleagues often focused
on the behaviour of people with ready access to the cash ­ it’s a procedural
given to consider the accountants as obvious suspects in a fraud.

But a bribery case overseas? Surely that would be head of sales or someone in
a similar role like that, who would be the guilty party.

Surely the FD, back home booking the numbers, is not the person at the sharp
end.

Now, I can reveal Tobiasen was also MD of the company, which does place him
in that sort of position, but I don’t think that will place other FDs, guilty or
not, beyond suspicion.

The fact is that, with the increasingly strategic role of an FD, why
shouldn’t investigators make him or her one of the usual suspects. There’s a
warning if ever there was one.

Related Articles

Shortlist announced for British Accountancy Awards 2017

Accounting Firms Shortlist announced for British Accountancy Awards 2017

4m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Pimlico Plumbers to take employment case appeal to Supreme Court

Legal Pimlico Plumbers to take employment case appeal to Supreme Court

4m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
HMRC appoints new director generals

HMRC HMRC appoints new director generals

5m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Submit your entry for the British Accountancy Awards!

People Business Submit your entry for the British Accountancy Awards!

6m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
BDO appoints two non-executive directors as advisers to leadership team

Accounting Firms BDO appoints two non-executive directors as advisers to leadership team

6m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Ex-HMRC chief to join ICAS council

HMRC Ex-HMRC chief to join ICAS council

8m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Tyrie on Finance Bill 2017: ‘Making Tax Policy Better’

Consulting Tyrie on Finance Bill 2017: ‘Making Tax Policy Better’

11m Stephanie Wix, Writer
Settlement reached between Margaret May and CIMA

Accounting Standards Settlement reached between Margaret May and CIMA

11m Stephanie Wix, Writer