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Could your organization be the next victim of fraud in an increasingly tense global marketplace? No one wants to believe that their trusted staff or Management would steal assets or manipulate financial information for criminal purposes. But fraud is more common — and costly — than you might think.

If you were to go by the news headlines alone, you would think that workplace fraud consists only of large-scale embezzlement only, but this is not correct as Fraud has devastating impacts on individuals, small, medium, and big businesses/organizations.

The global effort to minimize the impact of fraud by promoting anti-fraud awareness and education is the responsibility of all within an organisation both in the public and private sector.

Here are ways you can develop a fraud awareness system:

  1. Routine Anti-Fraud Training Programs to be Developed
  2. Equipping management and staff with anti-fraud training can help them defend your organisation from financial fraud. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), companies with anti-fraud training programs experience lower losses and shorter duration of fraud schemes than organisations that don’t have such programs in place.
  • One of the most powerful elements of training is describing how fraud impacts the employee directly. These trainings should include basic fraud prevention techniques and procedures for reporting suspicious activity.
  • Most fraudsters exhibit behavioural traits that can serve as warning signs of their actions. Supervisors should be trained to recognize these red flags, such as an employee living beyond their means, being over-protective about their workspace or files, asking to be unsupervised by working after office hours, taking work home, and staff refusal to go on vacation.
  • With that said, organisations should also go the extra mile by ensuring training is put into practice and not just completed without intention to follow. The bottom line is – Anti-Fraud training goals must meet the programs objectives.
  1. Implement a Fraud and Ethics Policy
  2. To deter fraud, a policy should be developed and implemented regarding the expectations for employees, including consequences of violation.
  •  Increasing the perceived likelihood of detection and intended consequences of breaches is an effective way to caution employees.
  • In implementing these policies, ensure everyone in the company is held to the same standard regardless of their position.
  1. Know your Employees
  2. While it is the desire of every business to hire honest employees, formal hiring routines, especially at small businesses, are often neglected.
  • It is in the best interest of every organisation to conduct basic pre-employment background checks, especially for anyone who will be handling cash or gaining access to sensitive financial data.
  • Additionally, after hiring, regular performance reviews should include an evaluation of each employee’s compliance with company ethics and anti-fraud programs.
  1. Set Up Procedures for Reporting Cases
  2. To illustrate, establishing an anonymous reporting system or process can set the minds of employees at ease about letting those in authoritative positions know about a fellow co-worker.
  • This, however, means that to reinforce the business’ policy of no tolerance for unethical behaviour, each case should be looked at, regardless of magnitude.
  1. Audit Regularly
  2. While developing these systems might ease your mind and reduce occurrences of fraud, it is still necessary to carry out audits regularly.
  •  Routinely audit areas that deal in cash, refunds, product returns, inventory management, and accounting functions.
  • Additionally, Schedule occasional undisclosed audits in high-risk, critical business areas to help prevent fraud in high risk, critical business areas.

Need help with bespoke anti-fraud training and policies?

At AACAS we can help reinforce your internal controls and investigate if you suspect fraud. Doing so can potentially save your organization thousands, if not millions in losses and put everyone on alert that fraud won’t be tolerated.

Let’s work together to recognize, reject, and report fraud!

At AACAS we are passionate about strengthening and shaping Africa’s Economic Future by building global partnerships that promote ACADEMIC LEARNING, RESEARCH, AND SERVICE for a fraud & corruption free Africa.

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