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July 1, 2010updated 12 Apr 2017 4:22pm

Auditor moves to stop fraud in vehicle dealerships

Richard Jewitt, head of the vehicle audit division of Orpington-based OCS Inventory and Audit Services, works with 22 major funders, visiting dealerships to police their practices on the funders behalf, and is setting up the user group as part of a bid to help protect clients from being taken for a ride.

By Fred Crawley

A major independent auditor is to set up a user group among in-house and other independent providers of auditing services to share best practice on how to prevent and tackle fraud among dealerships.

Richard Jewitt, head of the vehicle audit division of Orpington-based OCS Inventory and Audit Services, works with 22 major funders, visiting dealerships to ‘police’ their practices on the funders’ behalf, and is setting up the user group as part of a bid to help protect clients from being “taken for a ride”.

Jewitt said: “It will be about getting people together, to look at the software we provide to see whether there are any recommendations or enhancements they would want.

“It will also be to talk about benchmarking so that we can all be singing off the same hymn sheet.”

For example, Jewitt said, some audit teams may make only “sample” checks on dealerships – a practice he believes to be insufficient.

“It could be very invasive to do a full check but there’s really no excuse for not doing a 100% audit,” he said.

According to Jewitt, it is relatively easy for a dealership owner to abscond with hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of stock owing to its mobility and high value, meaning opportunities for fraud are rife.

Jewitt  added: “We check the cars that are funded are actually on the forecourts of the dealers.”

It is necessary, furthermore, to make sure auditors communicate with one another and even occasionally carry out audits together.

“It is a matter of trying to get to know when other people are going into dealerships common to everyone so we can go in together,” Jewitt said.

OCS has developed its own software, which can be used on laptop computers, which can then send information from an audit direct to the company’s server so that its clients will eventually have access to it online.

Jewitt said: “The information generated is reconfigured into a number of reports which funders can access via our website.

“They can get into the report as soon as the audit is finished.”

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