Great Women In Fraud

Episode 20 Mary Schaeffer, AP Queen and the Magic of Twitter

February 09, 2021 Kelly Paxton, CFE Episode 20
Great Women In Fraud
Episode 20 Mary Schaeffer, AP Queen and the Magic of Twitter
Chapters
Great Women In Fraud
Episode 20 Mary Schaeffer, AP Queen and the Magic of Twitter
Feb 09, 2021 Episode 20
Kelly Paxton, CFE

Accounts payable and fraud, unfortunately, go hand in hand.


Be sure and reach out to Mary: https://www.linkedin.com/in/accountspayable/

Show Notes Transcript

Accounts payable and fraud, unfortunately, go hand in hand.


Be sure and reach out to Mary: https://www.linkedin.com/in/accountspayable/

00:00:03.389 -->  00:00:37.080
Kelly Paxton: Okay, the magic of Twitter, today we have with us, Mary Schaeffer of ap now and we like somehow connected on Twitter, I have been on her podcast I have introduced her to people.  And this is all from Twitter, which you great women in fraud, no I love Twitter and I love social media.

I'm just going to hand it over to you, Mary to tell us about your name your role in the field of fraud slash I mean you're like the ap I'm going to say queen I'm the fraud hashtag Queen, you are the ap Queen.


00:00:37.170 --> 00:02:05.760
Mary Schaeffer: Okay, so one of my colleagues did a tweet on Twitter and he hashtags me G O A T.  I'm like G O A T what is that. So I'm not as good with Twitter, as you are, even though that's where we met so I had to send them a note and he explained to me what it was, and I thought Okay, he wasn't insulting me which I guess he calling me a goat.

So yeah my claim to fame, if you will, is accounts payable I talk about accounts payable I write about accounts payable I sometimes I even dream about accounts payable and people will say you know that's kind of a boring topic, how much is there to say about accounts payable you get a bill you pay a bill, and my answer to that is, if you get a bill you pay a bill you're going to have a lot of fraud, just for starters right off the BAT.

So there is a lot to talk about, and you know I talked about every little niche and crony related to accounts payable and, unfortunately, and I do say I do mean this truly. For it is a big topic and it saddens me because, but that's the world we live in, and also when it comes to accounts payable it's about your money and we've had a lot of new friends over the last few years, and I suspect we're going to have a lot more new friends in the years to come. Yeah so you know accounts payable and fraud, unfortunately, go hand in hand.


00:02:07.080 --> 00:02:27.390
Kelly Paxton: So accounts payable I just got off doing a presentation and you know my thing is pink collar crime and it's the low to mid-level employees who write you know steal primarily women who steal from the workplace and, like the accounts payable they know where every dime goes.


00:02:27.750 --> 00:02:33.990
Mary Schaeffer: Right and, in fact, one of the facets, that I always try and bring home when I give talks or lectures is that your employees know where the weaknesses are in your system, so if you have internal controls in place and that you know, everybody does. But there are a few that are not perfect, or you know that you know, they should be a little different but they're not the people who know it are your employees and, unfortunately.

Well 99 and three-quarters of a percent of them are Honorable and good and would never steal from you there's always that one or two and that that issue, I believe, gets amplified if you don't happen to treat those employees, as well as you should. So, you know I don't know if Kelly, you were telling me the story or somebody else was telling me the story, I think it was you actually who you were giving some advice to. A client and you said something about the bookkeeper and they said oh she'd never steal from us so she's she wouldn't know how to do that, and she robbed them blind.


00:03:31.350 --> 00:03:34.110
Kelly Paxton: yeah that's my hashtag never underestimate, a woman.


00:03:34.350 --> 00:03:36.630
Mary Schaeffer: Right, more than one way.


00:03:38.460 --> 00:04:00.060
Kelly Paxton: And that's The other thing is like I'm gonna Okay, make the big stereotype here is that you're going to get a master of the universe or owner of the business high-level director and they are going to see the accounts payable person is not as smart as that. Yeah digital is like position does not equal IQ.


00:04:00.300 --> 00:04:54.750
Mary Schaeffer: know and I'm sure you've also run into situations where that's really not true, but yeah they get underestimated women, you know, have a problem, sometimes not all women. But some women have a problem you know just getting taken seriously. And so that goes along to this kind of lowing management into thinking Oh, they would never, never steal from us they've been with us forever and you know yourself Kelly from statistics from the SCI fi.

The person who is most likely to steal from you is long term trusted employee. And unfortunately when it comes to embezzlement or you know low-level fruit like that it's most mostly women, which I think is kind of interesting because the fraud statistics generally show that men commit fraud more frequently than women.


00:04:55.770 --> 00:05:02.250
Kelly Paxton: yeah well I got a big problem with our statistics. Big big problem with those statistics.


00:05:03.510 --> 00:05:15.120
Mary Schaeffer: But I'm happy to go out and say men are more likely. Say it's been more likely to steal for women but don't underestimate them that it's still only 6040 or.  Whatever it is.


00:05:15.450 --> 00:05:56.220
Kelly Paxton: yeah yeah no I yeah it's a whole world of when you see someone like the example you just gave a tone at the top, a culture that's not appreciative of right your level workers that and I'll bring cove it into this is. Those are the ones that have had to adjust during.

Right, so all of a sudden, you get you know, an executive a business owner and they're complaining about having to you know work from home and you're making the lower level employees go in and do the grunt sort of work. Right and it's like the grunt work is your pay.


00:05:56.790 --> 00:06:56.850
Mary Schaeffer: Like right and not only that one of the things I've had you know, like a CFO or controllers, or you know higher level, people say to me, and so I don't need to what I don't like to worry about the nitty gritty details and.

You know I just leave that to someone else and I, you know my answer to that it's probably could be more tactful but I say you know what don't worry about the nitty gritty details that's when your money is going to go flying out the door, because you don't have the strong internal controls in place you don't have the controls in place and you make assumptions like Oh, she would never steal from us, so he would never steal from us, and you know what people get their back push to the wall, because they either have gambling debts, personal debts or medical bills, or whatever or they're really disgruntled because they've not been treated well they've been passed over you know they've been given a lousy raise whatever it is, and your money's gone and when it's gone it's gone it's very hard to get it back.


00:06:57.540 --> 00:07:15.000
Kelly Paxton: I had this great story from a guest a couple of episodes ago and she had a woman who literally baked cookies for all of the it was in the construction, it was a plumbing company she baked cookies and she was starting part of her job became she had to respond to after hours calls.


00:07:15.210 --> 00:07:15.660
 Oh boy.


00:07:15.990 --> 000:07:41.310
Kelly Paxton: Like to do it and so she went to the boss, and she said, this is what an answering service is going to cost me it's like it's part of your job just do it.  She's still hundreds of thousands of dollars, she even priced it out and he's like no and then I had another guy who asked for like $100 a week raise he was he knew the business can afford it, he asked for it, the boss said no, I can't afford it, so he just gave it to himself. Because the boss can afford it.


00:07:41.910 --> 00:07:42.300
Mary Schaeffer: yeah.


00:07:44.520 --> 00:07:44.880
Kelly Paxton: You know.


00:07:44.940 --> 00:08:30.840
Mary Schaeffer: Right yeah. Right, I can remember having one conversation. With a boy a guy who I worked for who's really a very nice and generally empathetic man, and I was making the case, we were in New York City. And the price of the bus was going up the you know public transportation and I said that I thought that the company should give raised to everybody who made below a certain amount of money, like I don't know what it was at the time 20 or $30,000. And he said to me well, I don't think it should just be for them, and I said well why not, and he said to me, and he didn't see the floor in this reasoning, he said, you know how much a good bottle of wine, do you know how much the price of it has gone up. I was like a quick bottle of wine and being able to get to work okay.


00:08:33.960 --> 00:08:56.400
Kelly Paxton: Well, so everyone knows that, like I don't pick on dentists but three out of five dentists get embezzled and there's just one story, I heard from a woman who works with a lot of dentists. She said, if I hear my dentist complain one more time how much his luxury car costs to go get an oil change I'm going to state take that drill and put it in it.


00:08:57.300 --> 00:09:01.050
Mary Schaeffer: Right it's just it's no conception whatsoever.


00:09:01.620 --> 00:09:19.140
Kelly Paxton: yeah and their case like the dentist I mean she was getting paid Well he went through many years of dental school and everything like that we don't know, but like she was tired of him complaining about. His BMW has Jaguar his tesla and she just was like I'm going to take the drill and I'm going to put it in his head.


00:09:21.060 --> 00:09:32.730
Mary Schaeffer: And how much am I paying. For your expensive right. Now people don't realize, you know talk about first world problems that. yeah.


00:09:33.120 --> 00:09:33.990
Kelly Paxton: yeah first.


00:09:34.080 --> 00:09:37.710
Mary Schaeffer: What isn't there a lot of the You said this already there's a lot of embezzling at the doctors offices.


00:09:39.450 --> 00:10:41.040
Kelly Paxton: yeah yeah they don't want to look at the do you think I say the fish tank gets expensive they don't realize that the fish tank is increased 500% over the last year, I mean and the other thing is like. I mean, this is an older example, and some people aren't gonna like this example, but this came from Dr. Adler who wrote sisters in crime in 1975 but she said, women have always been able to make ends meet prior to them getting in the workforce, they relied on shoplifting and prostitution statistic now they're in the workplace. And so my thing is prior to them being in the workplace, if they say the hot water heater went out they might call Joe the plumber and make an arrangement with Joe the plumber now they're working in a dental office and they don't want to call Joe the plumber, they just call ABC plumbing that does the dental office and sends them to their own House.


00:10:41.130 --> 00:10:47.640
Mary Schaeffer: Right and builds it to the office yeah I know a lot of it just goes completely undetected.


00:10:48.090 --> 00:11:06.720
Kelly Paxton: yeah absolutely they don't. I'm going to say a lot of medical professionals do not look at data analytics and see that gee we used to only pay, you know 1% for say. Construction services and now it's kind of like they don't they just don't do it.


00:11:07.110 --> 00:11:15.270
Mary Schaeffer: No, because the details and especially when you're talking about something like dental services and dentists, they don't really want to know about the numbers.


00:11:15.900 --> 00:11:25.050
Kelly Paxton: And you know, do you really want your dentist to be like spending their extra time going to learn about ratios I want them to learn how to give me know right.


00:11:25.440 --> 00:11:25.740
Right.


00:11:28.110 --> 00:11:33.330
Kelly Paxton: And I go to him for their bedside manner, I do not go to them for their profit profitability.


00:11:33.360 --> 00:11:33.690
Mary Schaeffer: right with.


00:11:34.320 --> 00:11:35.160
Kelly Paxton: My dentist.


00:11:35.250 --> 00:11:41.970
Mary Schaeffer: it's a shame, but you do you go that you like the ones who have a good bedside manner, who could actually be the worst dentist in the world.


00:11:42.270 --> 00:11:45.090
Kelly Paxton: yeah yeah absolutely so oh my gosh.


00:11:45.120 --> 00:11:45.540
yeah.


00:11:46.650 --> 00:11:53.970
Kelly Paxton: So one of my questions is, and this is a silly question for you, if you were going to write a book, what would be about you have how many books.


00:11:54.150 --> 00:12:39.960
Mary Schaeffer: So I've written 20 books, I think about 15 of them have been on accounts payable so and I already have in my mind, the two that I want to update this year. So yeah I probably would be another accounts payable book I'm always looking for a different angle I probably need to do one on fraud but. that's down the road because I need to get internal controls updated and fundamentals of accounts payable updated, but I, you know I like the information I like the topic it's also a really nice community of people who are in there.
And so yeah it would probably be another accounts payable book much to everyone's horror.


00:12:41.130 --> 00:12:45.540
Kelly Paxton: Talk about the riches are in the niches like you would think that you could have 20 books.


00:12:45.600 --> 00:12:47.880
Mary Schaeffer: On accounts right exactly.


00:12:48.150 --> 00:12:49.380
Kelly Paxton: Exactly so.


00:12:49.770 --> 00:13:09.150
Mary Schaeffer: Especially when you hear people say which they don't say as much now as they did when I was starting is so what's the big deal about accounts payable he get a bill you pay a bill. And my answer is yeah and as soon as you do, that you'll be paying phony bills they'll be saying to send you a bill, two and three times and you'll be paying them two and three times and everybody will be happy.


00:13:10.980 --> 00:13:12.390
Kelly Paxton: For you, the business owner.


00:13:15.810 --> 00:13:20.430
Mary Schaeffer: You haven't spent much time to have your accounts payable staff process these bills.


00:13:21.990 --> 00:13:35.610
Kelly Paxton: Okay, so this is not on my sort of list of questions, but it makes me think what is the worst accounts payable long term fraud, you have ever seen what was like the most horrific you are like how could this have happened.


00:13:36.120 --> 00:15:08.310
Mary Schaeffer: So I just so I think I was reading this in your book, one that went on for 42 years.  yeah when I saw that I was like how could it go on for 42 years. But on average okay so I'll tell you what I did see and I think it was $8 million $8 million or $6 million and it went on for eight years. But again, this is one of these things that would be very simple to catch and fix or should never have happened in the first place, so this was a company that.

In order to get into the AARP system your user ID was your email address Okay, no big deal that's what most places to and there's nothing wrong with that and then somebody came up with the genius idea that they would all use the same password. Okay, can you figure out what happened so big surprise, one of the accounting managers figured out some sort of a fraud.

And then he perpetrated it for you know quite a few years and then so he would go in and process the invoice and he'd use the invoice processes. User ID and you know the generic password everybody was using and then he approved for payment, and he stepped hurts it's eddie make the payment then need to just the accounting records, you know, using somebody else's user ID and you know, when I look at that, first of all I don't know how it got caught but probably because the amount of money that was going out number one but number two like why bother I have user ids and passwords if you're going to do that.


00:15:09.600 --> 00:15:20.880
Kelly Paxton: yeah yeah well and you put very nicely on my review on Amazon for the book is that you love that you know the password. The whole right do not share your passwords.


00:15:20.940 --> 00:15:27.030
Mary Schaeffer: Right right, I mean you would think that that's I don't know business one a one.


00:15:28.620 -->  00:15:57.360
Kelly Paxton: Well, so there's a guy Nathan Mueller who stole $8 million from IMG bank and his boss gave him her password she ended up getting fired when he finally got caught. But then I had another guy who saw my presentation, who he had a different thing where when he got hired his boss asked for his password and eventually the password you know the boss was stealing he got called into the police station, a very young age, like in his 20s.


00:15:57.630 --> 00:15:59.850
Mary Schaeffer: So he didn't dare then to not give it to the board.


00:15:59.850 --> 00:16:07.290
Kelly Paxton: yeah and how many people when your boss says like hey I need your password you're like oh that's my boss, like, I think I might have to give it to him.


00:16:07.500 --> 00:16:07.770
Mary Schaeffer: Right.


00:16:07.800 --> 00:16:35.370
Kelly Paxton: And he had to disprove that he had anything involved with the fraud so, you know as much as I'm mock the whole password and then I had a dentist who's now ex-wife made everyone use her password, the only way we could prove the theft, was the theft was done. Remote no one has remote access but her or after 6pm at night and luckily they had key cards and we could prove that no employee came in, or was in the office after 6pm.


00:16:35.370 --> 00:16:36.780
Mary Schaeffer: But how much work did that take.


00:16:37.050 --> 00:16:49.980
Kelly Paxton: yeah yeah it was a huge amount of work and so it's like you know never share your password and I have the toothbrush and it's people like I think they think i'm making fun of them and it's like a it happens, a lot.

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Mary Schaeffer: Well, I know, several companies now it's not just one where they have a situation, not only do you have to have your own user ID and password da but really come on guys. You know is that if you get up from your desk you're at your you know now, this is assuming you're not working remotely but even it should be when you're working remotely you get up from your desk if you don't log off or at least lock your computer. You can be fine you'll be fired on the spot, if you get caught because it's too easy for somebody to you know to come in and play games. 

Yeah so you want me to tell you a funny story it's not really a fraud story, but it's a story like that so my sister is a systems analyst and she was working you know with a small group of you know, the small group of teams and she got up to I don't know get a cup of coffee or go to the ladies or whatever, she was just gone for two or three minutes, and one of her co-workers snuck in and sent an email to everybody on the group from her email account so came from her email again and signed it Nancy Fancy Pants.

So you know we're laughing about this and you know, everybody was a good joke, but he could have also gone in, and you know altered the system if she had payment access he could have.
You know, sent money where it did not belong.


00:18:14.310 --> 00:18:17.610
Kelly Paxton: Well, and that's one of my hashtags it's not rocket science.


00:18:17.670 --> 00:18:17.970
Mary Schaeffer: No.


00:18:18.030 --> 00:18:30.210
Kelly Paxton: I don't think you know I mean correct me if i'm wrong is that this accounts payable with fraud and malfeasance it doesn't take i'm going to say, a member of mensa.


00:18:30.240 --> 00:21:08.640
Mary Schaeffer: To come right right The other thing that I like to say about fraud is, and when you have weak processes and controls is that many fraud start with an honest mistake. So a duplicate payment gets made for honor you know. Through no fault of anybody's, and so the person who gets the duplicate payment, does it not only doesn't return it and catches it. But they say oh these people don't know what they're doing that controls aren't so good, so if they got it because they send you invoices they'll send another invoice and then they'll do it on a regular basis.

Yes, about stories and this, this was a fortune like 10 company fortune 20 company a big company and they had really good controls in place, I love the story, by the way, and they did everything the way he was supposed to, and so the director of a piece walking around one day, and she sees one of the processes sitting at her desk crying because she says what's the matter, and she said she just got off the phone with so, and so, and he was yelling ahead. And because they're hurt his payment was late again and so she was processing a payment and the director said to her What did he say to you, and he said that it would be easier to get a rooster to lay an egg in New York City on a picket fence than it was to get a payment from you.

Now to the director of a paid that was assigned because what many crooks know is if they call up a pay and they harass and they belittle the person they'll get them to make that payment that's not legitimate in this case, it was a second one. So she said to the person pulled his records and so they pulled his records he had had a consulting contract with the company I'm trying not to say who it is. And for the last 18 months every month, he got two payments, because he'd get the payment and he call up and he'd get this one clerk on the phone and he littler and harasser into issuing a second payment.

 So they got the person who was responsible for the current contract and then they showed him they laid it all out, he said, all right, and he called the guy up the guy was not real bright and he the company said to him, we want you to come in. We want to you know discuss your contract and payments and he said, good, I want to come in, I want to discuss how I'm always being paid late and. Never suspecting that you know when he came in was going to be presented with this, he was fired they terminate the contract and they did get them money back.


00:21:09.480 --> 00:21:11.430
Kelly Paxton: did he do you know if he got prosecuted.


00:21:11.580 --> 00:21:19.260
Mary Schaeffer: He did not. He did not. That's because you know, most people most companies won't prosecute yeah yeah.


00:21:19.500 --> 00:21:19.920
Kelly Paxton: I was.secretly hoping, maybe.


00:21:21.870 --> 00:21:35.250
Mary Schaeffer: Now, and the other problem with reporting and prosecution, not only are they worried about the publicity, but then, a lot of times the police departments are overworked and they won't take the you know they don't bring it to trial so.


00:21:36.000 --> 00:21:50.880
Kelly Paxton: Well, and you know yeah they are overworked their resources are stretched and I mean I worked at a you know fortune 50 company and it's kind of like a if you can't keep track of your own money what you went law enforcement to keep track of the money we've got serial rapists serial.


00:21:50.880 --> 00:21:54.120
Mary Schaeffer: Right right right it's like I get it. But right.


00:21:55.140 --> 00:22:02.940
Kelly Paxton: um you know it would be nice if we had the resources that we don't need there's a and there's no quote dead body but.


00:22:02.970 --> 00:22:17.370
Mary Schaeffer: No there's no dead body and, as a citizen I'd rather that they spent their time going after you know. The staff real a murderous or whatever, but you know I do notice, because I look at all the stuff post it's interesting. When I what I do notice is that, and you tell me I'm wrong, I hope, you're gonna tell me I'm wrong with this, but it seems to me, women get prosecuted more frequently than men do.


00:22:29.160 --> 00:22:55.650
Kelly Paxton: I believe, so I don't against statistics are so messy but I've had experiences that you know I can't really talk about where an. Because the C suite or the upper echelons it's embarrassing to a company, but yet the upper echelons admin who starts buying their stuff at Starbucks they'll not only get terminated don't get prosecuted. Right it's horrifying to me.


00:22:55.860 --> 00:22:58.110
Mary Schaeffer: Right it's $20,000 versus $400,000 $1 million.


00:23:01.410 --> 00:23:06.180
Kelly Paxton: yeah oh yeah so it's anecdotal, but I see it.


00:23:06.540 --> 00:23:11.460
Mary Schaeffer: Right right, I mean it just that's my impression from what I read in the news yeah and I'd love to be run on that one.


00:23:15.210 --> 00:23:36.120
Kelly Paxton: I would love to be wrong to a lot of people ask me about sentences for men versus women. I say if you're gonna go on bezel you need to do some Google searching and find out what the sentences are because you can steal $20,000 in one state and get 20 years yeah you'll $20,000 in a certain city and you might get a weekend, you know scooping elephant poop.


00:23:36.330 --> 00:24:02.850
Mary Schaeffer: Right right. I remember one company that I worked at it was a smaller company, we had check for ID. And we had insurance so, but the insurance company needed a police report, so the controller went down. To the New York City, so the controller went down to the police department, the local police department to make the claim and he said he had a hard time getting anybody even to take the report  yeah but we needed it for the insurance company so.


00:24:03.450 --> 00:24:07.740
Kelly Paxton: yeah right yeah you do it's it's very, very unfortunate.


00:24:07.770 --> 00:24:08.850
Mary Schaeffer: yeah yeah.


00:24:09.780 --> 00:24:13.440
Kelly Paxton: I, this is another fun thing about you is what is. What is your hidden talent and I can see it a little bit in the video.

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00:24:19.470 --> 00:24:41.160
Mary Schaeffer: So my hidden talents, such that it is, if you want to call it that. My husband might call it, something else is that I have a I don't know between three and 400 house plants, and so you if you're wondering why I don't know exactly what the exact number is is because, at some point, I decided that was probably smarter, not to count.


00:24:42.690 --> 00:24:49.020
Kelly Paxton: kinda like when people in bezel they start to count how much money they steal and then the number gets kind of big and they just stopped.


00:24:49.320 --> 00:25:18.480
Mary Schaeffer: Well, I kind of like it, the liken it to the person who buys a lot of shoes. To be fair, a lot of my house plans come from either things that I've grown, or you know you cut them up and you make two or three and this probably won't come as a big surprise to you, but I have a lot of friends who have similar I'm going to call it passions. Rather than some I'd say addictions. And so we trade a lot.


00:25:19.260 --> 00:25:31.470
Kelly Paxton: That is very cool I I don't think I have had anyone on the podcast that is had that is a talent, but I hate it because I only have like four plans in the House and I used to have five.


00:25:32.100 --> 00:25:32.490
Okay.


00:25:34.140 --> 00:25:35.730
Mary Schaeffer: Oh, I could bring that up real quick.


00:25:37.770 --> 00:26:00.240
Kelly Paxton: Definitely definitely yeah so um I like this one, what is your favorite word. Chocolate yeah Okay, and this is another fun story, so this whole great women and fraud and the connections and Twitter and Mary son actually lives in portland. Right, so we connected and portland is a really good chocolate.


00:26:00.240 --> 00:26:02.400
Mary Schaeffer: places, yes it is. Yes.


00:26:03.750 --> 00:26:06.360
Kelly Paxton: we've got lot at night should hope that your son sent you some.


00:26:06.390 --> 00:26:13.560
Mary Schaeffer: Chocolate from he did actually my Christmas present was my first and second words a chocolate and coffee.


00:26:13.920 --> 00:26:15.300
Kelly Paxton: Oh perfect for portland. Yes, absolutely perfect for portland yes.


00:26:18.510 --> 00:26:20.490
Mary Schaeffer: You can never have too much of either of them.


00:26:21.180 --> 00:26:23.460
Kelly Paxton: Well, I can't have coffee like past about noon.


00:26:23.700 --> 00:26:27.120
Mary Schaeffer: Well let's not good at four clock is my cut off.


00:26:28.320 --> 00:26:33.210
Kelly Paxton: way way before you oh my gosh um, what is your personal motto.


00:26:33.780 --> 00:27:07.380
Mary Schaeffer: So, and I do believe this is. I believe in never looking back now when I say never looking back, I mean you know don't don't lament over it sometimes when he does something bad or something good has happened to me, I will look back to say Okay, what did I do. And what should I do so this happens again, or what did I do to make sure that this doesn't happen to me again and then, once I figured that out, I just it's water under the bridge move on and you just make yourself crazy looking back and looking forward is so much fun.


00:27:08.340 -->00:27:18.870
Kelly Paxton: That is true, especially right now with.  Foreign on a beach is right well what I say is i'm looking forward to getting out of Delaware.


00:27:20.460 --> 00:27:22.410
Mary Schaeffer: I have highest aspirations.


00:27:22.500 --> 00:27:22.890
This.


00:27:24.030 --> 00:27:30.150
Kelly Paxton: um and if you could turn back time and talk to your 18 year old self What would you tell yourself.


00:27:30.570 --> 00:28:10.260
Mary Schaeffer: So, and I think this is true for a lot of women, I bet you quite a few would tell you the same thing is, I would tell myself to be braver and not to be afraid to speak my mind um you know I think about, especially when some of my first jobs. How hot, it was and how long I pondered and you know weighed over you know going into complain about something or to ask for a raise or promotion or whatever, and I would just say people you know I wish I was bolder and I wish I you know kind of wasn't afraid of my shadow I think today, there will be a few people who might wish that I was a little afraid of my shift.


00:28:12.300 --> 00:28:36.810
Kelly Paxton: That is so good for great women in fraud, and you know I'd say it's a theme throughout many of the guests, is to you know go for it. Like don't be afraid and go for it, I mean what is the worst that can happen, while you might get fired, and that is another thing that I also tell younger people that I mentor is always having a few fund meaning. Right always have to be able to walk away, have you ever had to walk away.


00:28:37.350 --> 00:29:18.210
Mary Schaeffer: No, I remember one at one point when I just got so mad at my boss this when I was very young and I did threaten and when I went back, and I said well if that's the way it's going to be, then I don't know if I can work here anymore and I went back and I sat at my desk and I was not in a position to do that and I thought oh my God Mary oh my God oh my God, but he served my way and I really tell people exactly like you're saying don't do it unless you're in that you're ready to do it, I did walk away once that's how I ended up starting this business and the only thing I say about that, even though I say never look back is I probably should have done it sooner.


00:29:19.230 --> 00:29:20.520
Kelly Paxton: yeah I totally agree.


00:29:20.820 --> 00:29:21.120
yeah.


00:29:22.800 --> 00:29:44.850
Kelly Paxton: You know, in my 20s I didn't have enough few funds but I had the faq fund mentality. They didn't mess with me they figured I had an faq fun, but they didn't know, I was terrible with money at that point in my life so where and I've trained my daughter she hasn't even though she's still in college she has an amazing nephew fund and Good I feel so good about it.


00:29:45.180 --> 00:30:05.670
Mary Schaeffer: Good that's great that's great I always knew in the back of my mind if anything got really bad my father would take care of me, but the thought of having to have just fine so. I didn't have it for a long time, but yeah it would give you a certain level of freedom.


00:30:06.000 --> 00:30:21.210
Kelly Paxton: yeah yeah I think that is so incredibly important and we talked about this before, but and it kind of ties into this, the one common myth about your profession or field that you want to sort of deep on out.


00:30:22.710 --> 00:31:25.620
Mary Schaeffer: Yes, yeah so people will say things like and I've kind of alluded to this already what's the big deal about accounts payable oh anybody can do it oh you don't have to know much or. You know, we can just we can put a you know, a dummy in there and do it, and my answer to that when it whenever they say these things is is that you obviously haven't studied the field or and be aware that if you take that approach and a lot of companies do, by the way.
it's probably quite if you're taking that approach it's probably costing you and your bottom line you're probably having money go out the door, either in the form of duplicate payments.
That your vendors aren't returning, and most of them don't or fraud or just you're being very inefficient in the way you operate and it's costing you more because of it. And then there's all sorts of regulatory issues that come in that you're probably not complying with that you should be, and then, of course, fraud and you know it's a looming issue that hangs over all of us, unfortunately.  yeah so.


00:31:26.460 --> 00:31:32.610
Kelly Paxton: And so, which is in the ap world, what do you say, is the best way to prevent fraud.


00:31:33.120 --> 00:32:49.380
Mary Schaeffer: So the best way to prevent fraud is doing the real basics of accounts payable and accounting, you know appropriate segregation of duty strong internal controls and then the new one, which.  I'm really I'm always like a broken record is making sure that you keep up to date on what are the new frauds. How are they being perpetrated because sometimes just knowing that the fraud is out there and what's going on. you'll be able to recognize it and stop it, and then sharing that information with everyone. And it's just becoming more and more critical and especially with some of these new electronic freud's the people who are creating them. If they've got amazing minds I hate to say this they've got amazing minds because I'm looking at the same stuff they are and I'm certainly not coming out with it. And they are figuring it out and figuring out how to take advantage, and all we can do is stay on top of it. As soon as we find out about it, one of the things I like to tell people is if they send me a new for it, I put it in this freezing that we put out for the business community. Because we're all in this together, and so as quickly as we can share the information with each other, the better protected will be.


00:32:50.520 -->  00:33:04.980
Kelly Paxton: You know, coming from the law enforcement background we always kept our sources tight and I just you know I would do it, but I wasn't really into it and my one of my favorite hashtags is sharing is caring.


00:33:05.010 --> 00:33:05.370
Mary Schaeffer: Right.


00:33:05.430 --> 00:33:21.870
Kelly Paxton: You need to share, because the A good example is like an e commerce fraud is if someone goes in perpetrates a fraud against home depot they're going to walk across the street. Right do it against lowes. Right in the past home depot and lowes would not talk.


00:33:22.230 --> 00:33:23.190
Mary Schaeffer: Right now walk.


00:33:23.400 -->  00:34:11.100
Kelly Paxton: yeah you gotta share. Like i'm and the best like my business has taken off because I give out, I give up so much stuff like you know phone calls. Right, whatever we have to talk to each other, we have to, and I was listening to a podcast. The other day about a retired FBI agent, he was talking about how silo of information 17,000 police agencies out there, and he used to do serial killers and he's like No one. was trying to break and it's like there's, this is a crazy fact there are 250 and 250,000 unsolved murders from 1980 that is horrifying. Right.


00:34:11.460 --> 00:34:12.210
Mary Schaeffer: Like it is.


00:34:12.270 --> 00:34:15.090
Kelly Paxton: horrifying and you have to get people to talk to.


00:34:15.120 -->  00:35:11.220
Mary Schaeffer: Right right right one of my favorite stories is a fraud that has to do with gift cards i'm not going to go into the whole thing and so if somebody if I know this is a fraud out, they are related to gift cards and I get a fraudulent email that looks legitimate and it starts talking to me about gift cards a lights going to go off and i'm going to say, maybe this is Freud instead of going down the Mary road of allowing the front to happen and so just, we have to talk to each other and there's no competitive advantage for keeping foreign information to yourself and when I say share it, I mean not only with each other within you know different companies throughout the Community, but also in your organization, this is not information just for manages because they'll go wherever they can so I like to say, even though this is probably an exaggeration from the CEO down to the person sweeping the floor.


00:35:11.850 -->00:35:29.580
Kelly Paxton: yeah oh yeah Oh, I had, I had a manager who like she hoarded information, and it was like a joke with her like one time, I remember, going so you knew that and she's like Of course I did, and it was like it would have been helpful right would have been helpful and.


00:35:29.910 --> 00:35:30.660
Mary Schaeffer: like it.


00:35:30.750 --> 00:35:34.110
Kelly Paxton: She worked as a badge of honor and i'm like that's not a badge of honor. Right it just knows how much time I had wasted or whatever Right.


00:35:38.280 --> 00:35:40.680
Mary Schaeffer: yeah right yeah I've seen that in the corporate world. I've seen that yeah.


00:35:42.510 --> 00:35:42.930
It is.


00:35:43.980 --> 00:35:48.990
Kelly Paxton: um if you could work in a different job field What would it be, and I think we might know.


00:35:51.180 --> 00:35:53.460
Mary Schaeffer: I think I might do something with plants.


00:35:55.080 --> 00:35:59.370
Kelly Paxton: I think so, and you know what's so funny is this is again too much information.


00:35:59.370 --> 00:35:59.670
Mary Schaeffer: Is.


00:36:00.060 --> 00:36:04.020
Kelly Paxton: The only class my brother got an A in high school culture.


00:36:04.740 --> 00:36:05.040
Mary Schaeffer: I will.


00:36:05.340 --> 00:36:10.800
Kelly Paxton: tell you again too much information my brother was a little ahead of the cannabis curve.


00:36:10.950 --> 00:36:11.190
Oh.


00:36:13.260 --> 00:36:16.320
Kelly Paxton: He was so far, but he's always been a good gardener.


00:36:16.380 --> 00:36:16.740
Mary Schaeffer: He saw.


00:36:17.250 --> 00:36:19.410
Kelly Paxton: And we live in Oregon so it's all legal and.


00:36:19.410 --> 00:36:21.660
Mary Schaeffer: Right right right so not a problem.


00:36:23.940 --> 00:36:24.900
Kelly Paxton: might have been a problem Right yeah yeah oh my gosh um what advice would you give someone who's starting out in a p.


00:36:34.830 --> 00:38:14.970
Mary Schaeffer: So if you're starting out in a paint, and this is probably true almost for any any any profession that you start out in. there's no such thing as you know you go to school, you get your degree, you get a job and you're done learning, you know that that should ever be you have to continually learn, and I look back on my career and when I started, we didn't have excel, for example. I can't even believe it can't believe there was a time before excel, but it was, and so you have to continually learn and I don't know what what what it's going to be that you have to learn, but you'll have to learn.

You know, analytical tools their updates to excel which will continue to use this all sorts of new technology automation and then, if you're in the accounts payable space, the other two biggies are fraud keeping on top of the new frauds and also regulatory issues we've got a ton of stuff. 1099 information reporting sales and use tax unclaimed property etc that all impact the accounts payable function. And you need to keep on top of all of the now you don't have to be experts on all of them, but you might pick the function, where you're going to excel so, for example, that might be excel or it might be, you might be the 1099 expert but know as much as you can about all of these things and I also like to tell people because they'll say sometimes well you know where would I get that or my company won't pay for an expensive. Membership or whatever, and I like to tell people go to YouTube there's a lot of stuff on YouTube there's a lot of podcasts out there, like this one just keep learning yeah.


00:38:15.060 --> 00:38:20.910
Kelly Paxton: And again, another really common thread and great women in fraud is that you have to be a lifelong learner. Yes, yeah, and so I will put it in the show notes, of course, but Mary stay for at accounts payable on Twitter, which I think is just like you were awesome to get accounts payable I mean that is just I couldn't get pink collar crime.


00:38:37.680 -->  00:39:09.930
Mary Schaeffer: cells that's good do you want me to know you know you could be good, or you could be lucky. So in 2009, which is, I think, when I got it when Twitter was just starting. I do my free easing through constant contact and constant contact would tweet about it, if you had a Twitter account. Okay, so I went and I thought, well, what can I have all accounts payable that sounds like a good one for me and that's all I got it right you're right that's where it's worth its weight in gold many times over.


00:39:10.980 --> 00:39:24.480
Kelly Paxton: Oh, my gosh now, this is a new question what is like something since coven you've finished, that has to maybe do with fraud or accounts payable or like a Netflix series.


00:39:26.070 --> 0 00:39:58.230
Mary Schaeffer: So a work related one or just in general, I feel like I saw this the sign somewhere and it said I finished Netflix feel like my poor husband he's in charge of getting what we watch TV, did you find anything new. But you know I've watched I have what all joking aside, I have watched a lot of Netflix I recently saw all the Queens horses, which I think was is a fabulous take on.


00:39:59.610 --> 00:40:00.120
Kelly Paxton: I love it.


00:40:00.390 --> 00:40:27.840
Mary Schaeffer: On an embezzlement I'm always a big fan I'm a big fan of Frank Abagnale I have been for years and years, in fact I just heard him speak what's probably a year ago now. But he's he was just as interesting as he was 15 years ago when I first heard them and so that's you know he catch me if you can, but I did, like all the King all the Queens horses, because it just to me exemplified all the things we've been talking about today.


00:40:28.320 --> 00:40:39.600
Kelly Paxton: yeah and I'm so are you while you're in Delaware but you know the east coast east coast, did you add education about the largest school embezzlement in rosslyn long island.


00:40:40.560 --> 00:40:49.200
Mary Schaeffer: I am, originally a new yorker from long island and I actually started to look for this, but then I got involved in something else, so I couldn't find it, I actually think it's the second embezzlement in rosslyn.


00:40:56.610 --> 00:40:58.110
Kelly Paxton: Interesting I have a 6364-page report by the State auditors, I will have to send to you it's fascinating I think you because there were glitches in the system.


00:41:09.780 --> 00:41:16.080
Mary Schaeffer: I think they had one and I couldn't find it so if I did, I would have sent it to you, but when because I saw when you when you tweeted about it, or you had it on LinkedIn That was one in the early like 2003 2004 I'm pretty sure. And then, when I saw you had that I was like oh my God, because they were the next town over I lived in port Washington rosalyn was the next town over so yeah I was like Oh, you know it's bad enough, it happens once but you know it happens twice to the same group come on guys.


00:41:41.640 --> 00:41:43.230
Kelly Paxton: yeah absolutely.


00:41:44.190 --> 00:41:48.000
Mary Schaeffer: But I couldn't find that I couldn't find the story, so if you find it.


00:41:48.660 --> 00:41:49.110
Kelly Paxton: I will. Share I absolutely well, so what happened, I asked you that you want to get out into the world of great women in fraud.


00:41:56.640 --> 00:42:03.990
Mary Schaeffer: So my big thing is, and I think we probably beat this to death, but it's really it's near and dear to my heart, we have to share this information. And as soon as we hear it, we have to share it not, you know when I go to the next conference or whatever we've got to share it and I'm always happy if somebody will share with me to share it with the Community, and I know you are too I see you on LinkedIn and on Twitter all the time.


00:42:18.780 --> 00:42:23.190
Kelly Paxton: yeah yeah it's it's how we get better and how we stay ahead so.


00:42:23.220 --> 00:42:24.090
Mary Schaeffer: yep yeah.


00:42:25.050 --> 00:42:32.070
Kelly Paxton: Well, it is an honor to have you here today i'm so happy and I know I get to meet you in person post coven in portland.


00:42:32.280 --> 00:42:36.210
Mary Schaeffer: I can't wait right if I if I can't ever get out of Delaware.  Yes.  And i'm looking forward to that i'm looking forward to that a lot so i've enjoyed this I enjoyed listening to the other podcast I listened to a few of them, and congratulations on launching such a successful Program.


00:42:52.590 --> 00:42:55.170
Kelly Paxton: Oh, thank you, Mary Thank you so so much.