Mandy Moody, CFE
ACFE Media Manager
Organizations around the world lose an estimated 5 percent of their annual revenues to fraud, according to the ACFE’s 2014 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse. A single instance of fraud can be devastating: the median loss per fraud case in the ACFE study was $145,000, and more than a fifth of the cases involved losses of at least $1 million.
The good news? There are some basic steps your organization can take immediately to lessen your vulnerability to fraud. During this year’s International Fraud Awareness Week, remember and share these five tips:
- Be Proactive. Adopt a code of ethics for management and employees. Evaluate your internal controls for effectiveness and identify areas of the business that are vulnerable to fraud.
- Establish Hiring Procedures. When hiring staff, conduct thorough background investigations. Check educational, credit and employment history (as permitted by law), as well as references.
- Train Employees in Fraud Prevention. Do workers know the warning signs of fraud? Ensure that staff members know basic fraud prevention techniques.
- Implement a Fraud Hotline. Fraud is still most likely to be detected by a tip. Providing an anonymous reporting system for your employees, contractors and clients will help uncover more fraud.
- Increase the Perception of Detection. Communicate regularly to staff about anti-fraud policies, ways to report suspicions of misconduct and the potential consequences (including termination and prosecution) of fraudulent behavior.
Implementing these tips could help prevent your organization from becoming a statistic — so take action today. Find more free resources like this at FraudWeek.com.