Article

How challenges facing CFOs today can lead to disputes

Phil Crooks Phil Crooks

Cyber-crime

The internet has made it easier for consumers to purchase what they need quickly, but not necessarily securely. In the UK, 17% of retail was purchased online by consumers in February, up 13.7% from January. This made it easier for criminals, often in remote locations, to defraud both customers and businesses. Access to personal data including credit card details and passwords is becoming increasingly common on the dark web for fraudsters to purchase and use to their advantage.

In light of the EU’s new GDPR law, the CFO needs to be at the forefront of a business’s proactive response to cyber-crime. This means assessing cyber risk and resilience across people, processes and technologies to ensure business and customer data is protected. And there needs to be a strategy in place for when a breach of data occurs.

Cryptocurrencies

As blockchain technologies continue to develop, many businesses, in particular Financial Services, are starting to apply distributed ledger technologies to streamline processes and make supply chains faster, easier and less expensive to manage. However, UK regulators are becoming increasingly aware of the risks cryptocurrencies generate. In particular they give organised crime the chance to launder money. 

Cryptocurrency transactions have already led to a number of disputes relating to fraud and negligence with the uncovering of fake bitcoin websites and false transactions. With the rapid growth in digital currency continuing we are likely to see more disputes on the horizon.

Political instability

With the Brexit deadline looming and an unstable cabinet, the coming year is set to be momentous. This raises concerns around weak UK growth and competitiveness for CFOs and businesses in the UK, as well as those who trade with the UK, as they face significant uncertainty and change. Organisations need to think through a range of scenarios and assess the potential impact. Read our guidance on planning for Brexit

The CFO needs to take ownership of ensuring that organisational structures and operating models are set up to drive efficient and effective delivery. And they need to ensure sufficient finance is in place to support growth and capitalise on the opportunities that Brexit could present.

Summary

CFOs are put under increased pressure as they are faced with new challenges. Changes in technology and the rise of cryptocurrencies bring an increased risk of cyber-crime. And Brexit is generating political and economic uncertainty. CFOs need to consider these challenges. Failure to do so could result in disputes arising between businesses and third parties.

Read more from our forensic and investigations experts Phil CrooksRob Hampson and Emma Jarman in their article for Corporate Disputes magazine July-Sept Edition. [ 512 kb ]

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