This week is International Fraud Awareness Week ("Fraud Week," for short). More than 900 organizations worldwide are signed on as Official Supporters, helping to promote fraud awareness through trainings, employee communications, social media postings and other activities.
During Fraud Week, the ACFE would like to share with your readers these basic tips any organization should be aware of to help prevent and detect fraud:
1. Be proactive.
Establish and maintain internal controls specifically designed to prevent and detect fraud. Adopt a code of ethics for management and employees. Set a tone at the top that the company will not tolerate any unethical behavior.
2. Establish hiring procedures.
Every company, regardless of size, can benefit from formal employment guidelines. When hiring staff, conduct thorough background investigations. Check educational, credit and employment history, as well as references. After hiring, incorporate evaluation of the employee's compliance with company ethics and antifraud programs into regular performance reviews.
3. Train employees in fraud prevention.
Once carefully-screened employees are on the job, they should be trained in fraud prevention. Are employees aware of procedures for reporting suspicious activity by customers or co-workers? Do workers know the warning signs of fraud? Ensure that staff know at least some basic fraud prevention techniques.
4. Conduct regular audits.
High risk areas, such as financial or inventory departments, are obvious targets for routine audits. Surprise audits of those and all parts of the business are crucial. A good starting point in identifying fraud risks and establishing a strategy to prevent such losses is ACFE's Fraud Prevention Check-up (PDF): ACFE.com/fraud-prevention-checkup.aspx.
5. Call in an expert.
For most firms, fraud examination is not a core business component. That's why, when fraud is suspected or discovered, it is imperative to enlist the anti-fraud expertise of a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). The CFE credential is recognized by businesses and governments worldwide as the standard for fraud prevention and detection.
Organizations lose an estimated 5 percent of their annual revenues to fraud, according to a report published last year by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). To help shine a spotlight on this global problem, more than 900 organizations worldwide are participating in International Fraud Awareness Week, Nov. 3-9, 2013, as official supporters to promote anti-fraud awareness and prevention.
Called “Fraud Week,” for short, the campaign encourages organizations of all sizes and industries to host fraud awareness training for employees, conduct employee surveys to assess levels of fraud preparedness within their organization, post articles on company websites, newsletters and social media, and team with local news sources to highlight the problem of fraud.
For more information about increasing awareness and reducing the risk of fraud during International Fraud Awareness Week, visit FraudWeek.com.
The 2012 Report to the Nations is available for download online at the ACFE’s website: ACFE.com/RTTN. The Report is in PDF format.