ACFE Senior Public Relations Specialist
As International Fraud Awareness Week rolls on, I’m pleased to announce that we have more than 900 organizations worldwide signed up as Official Supporters. These proactive businesses and government agencies are helping to promote fraud awareness through trainings, employee communications, social media postings and other activities (hashtag: #FraudWeek).
We have some new resources this year that we encourage you to check out during Fraud Week and beyond. They include:
- Fraud Talk Podcast. The ACFE's monthly podcast, dedicated to helping professionals who fight fraud on a daily basis. In these sessions, we break down case studies, talk with the industry's leading experts and give you more tools you can use to spot, fight and prevent fraud.
- Fraud Magazine White Papers. Stay up-to-date on anti-fraud challenges with free white papers offering real-world solutions. Recently added topics include big data, anti-money laundering and employee misclassification.
- Fraud Videos Library. The ACFE's library of fraud-related videos from Fraud Magazine, our Career Center and more.
- Fraud Prevention Resources CD-ROM. Available free to both ACFE members and non-members, this collection of anti-fraud resources will be of value in your company's ongoing fight against fraud.
One resource from previous years is still a valuable starting point for businesses to assess their anti-fraud controls. The ACFE’s Fraud Prevention Check-up (PDF) helps owners and managers identify fraud risks and establish a strategy to prevent losses.
There are some other basic tips that any organization should be aware of to help prevent and detect fraud:
- 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.
- Establish hiring procedures. Every company, regardless of size, can benefit from formal employment guidelines. When hiring staff, conduct thorough background investigations. Check educational 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
If you’re not yet aboard the Fraud Week train, I invite you to visit FraudWeek.com and learn more about increasing awareness and reducing risk.