Accounting Lessons from the FIFA Scandal

Brigade Bookkeeping
June 22nd, 2015
One Comment

My daughter Katelyn, along with more than 200 million other people around the world, loves to play Futbol or as we call it in America, soccer. The game is the most popular sport in the world. It’s so popular, it has a governing body called FIFA or the International Association Football Federation.

As a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a bookkeeper, I find it unbelievable that an accounting executive didn’t catch on to the FIFA scandal.   Rumors about corruption have been swirling for more than a decade, yet KPMG, one of the world's top accounting and auditing firms, has given FIFA a clean bill of financial health in every annual report for the last 16 years.  So if it happened to FIFA, could it happen to your business?
Don’t get caught off guard by your accountant.

Just last month, police arrested seven top FIFA executives on charges of corruption. They’re accused of taking $150 million dollar in bribes and kickbacks during the bidding process for the upcoming 2018 and 2022 World Cup sites. The Swiss Attorney General and the FBI are investigating. Now, Swiss prosecutors say they are investigating 53 cases of alleged money laundering, which had been reported by Swiss banks.

As a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a bookkeeper, what I find unbelievable is how long this may have been going on without an accounting executive catching on. Rumors about corruption have been swirling for more than a decade, yet KPMG, one of the world’s top accounting and auditing firms, has given FIFA a clean bill of financial health in every annual report for the last 16 years.

So if it happened to FIFA, could it happen to your business? This week, I want to pass on some important information on ways to spot potential hidden accounting issues with your company’s financial health:

  • ASK QUESTIONS – If you feel something is wrong or have suspicions about someone working on your books or something in the numbers, don’t be afraid to raise the red flag warning and ask questions. If you have doubt about your accountant or someone within your company, then ask another trusted financial advisor or family member or friend for help.
  • ASK FOR MONTHLY PROFIT AND LOSS STATEMENTS – Annual reports shouldn’t lie, but in the FIFA scandal, Swiss officials are checking if the books were manipulated, which In turn affects the annual report.  To avoid this situation, ask your accountant or bookkeeper to share with you your monthly numbers in the form of a monthly profit and loss statement. Knowing your numbers month-by-month makes it harder for someone to do harm to your business or cheat you out of money.
  • REACH OUT TO YOUR BANKER– Numbers usually don’t lie. If you have questions about your financial health, set aside time and have your accountant or bookkeeper review your numbers with you in person. If you’re paying them and all is in order, you shouldn’t get any push-back when you make this request. You should also reach out to your bank and have your banker investigate if there have been any unusual activity with your account(s).
  • GET A SECOND OPINION – If your accountant or bookkeeper gives you grief, you need to obtain a second opinion. At Brigade Bookkeeping, we are asked for second opinions all of the time from companies with full-time bookkeepers. Some people like our honesty so much, they choose to use our service rather than continuing with an in-house bookkeeper.

No matter what happens to FIFA, the good news is that 240 million people around the world, including my Katelyn, will continue to play Futbol. It’s a great sport, that’s not only fun, but can be stress-relieving.

If you want to get rid of the stress that’s taxing you when it comes to your bookkeeping, e-mail or call me. At Brigade Bookkeeping our stress relief is helping you with your books every month… really!

Here’s to a stress free week!

1 thought on “Accounting Lessons from the FIFA Scandal”

  1. It is so important to ask questions and get a second opinion if you feel uneasy about anything at all. Thanks for sharing these tips and things to watch out for!

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