Monday, September 10, 2018

Welcome to ethical business processes

The purpose of this website is to enable knowledge sharing about the potential unethical & fraud prone activities in key business functions and initiate  measures to prevent occurrences of such practices.

This becomes all the more critical & relevant in organisations having implemented ERP solutions or function specific softwares, in the present day business environments. 
The key business functions in any organisations include:-
  1. R&D or New product or service  development   
  2. Sales, distribution & marketing 
  3. Materials management  
  4. Manufacturing & Engineering      
  5. Project management
  6. Quality control & Quality  assurance     
  7. Finance & accounts    
  8. Legal
  9. Human resource management     
  10. Information technology & systems    
  11. Corporate services      
  12. Administration 

For identifying unethical or fraudulent activities, in each of the above twelve key functions, the key business processes need to be studied closely. As per 40+ years hands on professional experience of this author in private industry, about 300 key processes are  performed across any organisation, having all these functions. The number of key activities performed and work flows/transanctions in the  ERP environments, for these 300+ key processes, of course  run into  thousands. The author has experienced that for performing various roles across these functions, employees have to interact with and perform business transactions with  following 
  1. With in organisation : company promoters, board members, share holders &     employees (white collar and blue collar).
  2. Suppliers:  vendors, contractors, service providers, collaborators, consultants (technical, commercial, legal etc),marketing agencies
  3. Customers: authorised distributors, dealers, after service providers, end customers
  4. Business associates : Bankers ,financial institutes, investors, statuary auditors
  5. Statutory bodies : Licensing & tax authorities, law enforcing agencies ,regulators
  6. Others :  industry specific bodies, international trade  bodies and import/export regulators, shipping & transporters, insurance, media, social and political bodies and public at large   
These  thousands of  business activities  & transactions must be watched closely ,at the granularity level, to ensure that unethical or fraudulent activities are identified and prevented. Some of the root causes, identified by this author, that can trigger  unethical activities or frauds to occur  include following :
  1. Colluding amongst the stake holders (vis a vis each business process) to secure personal gains of the stake holders
  2. Granting business favours to business associates
  3. Sharing confidential information with unauthorised persons 
  4. Performing business activities not assigned to one's  role
  5. Gaining unauthorised access (in application softwares in various functions ) to work flows,configueration tables,masters ,data tables, designs & plans  ,financial documents,reports  etc and making  changes in these with no audit trails 
  6. Performing  functional activities without exercising due dillgence 
  7. Inappropriately  configuring  authority norms  in softwares  for creating, modifying, viewing, approving, deleting documents and data tables in ERP environments, vis a vis each function or  lack of these in manual environments
  8. Doing activities which are unlawful or prejudicial to the interest of the organisations
  9. Deliberately providing misleading information or suppressing material information to stake holders (promoters,share holders,investors,business associates, bankers/financial institutes,customers) or and statutory authorities with intent to deceive them 
  10. offering and taking bribes 
Valuable comments are invited  from professionals to share their experiences so that industries can benefit from their experiences and initiate countermeasures to prevent occurrences of unethical &fraudulent activities 


Arvind Dang
arvind.dang.in@gmail.com


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