We’re finally headed toward spring, despite the weather. Now is the time for annual spring cleaning. Here are a few spring-cleaning items to help you address fraud risks in your organization:
- Dust off your code of ethics and anti-fraud policy. These policies serve multiple purposes. Not only do they keep these issues top of mind with employees, they also help to enhance the organization’s “tone at the top.” Consider bringing these out at your next employee meeting and covering them with your employees.
- Clean up your vendor files. Unused vendors, duplicate vendor entries, vendors without information and other issues within a vendor file can increase an organization’s risk of fictitious vendors. This could be the time of year to complete entries for vendors missing information, remove duplicate entries and deactivate/delete vendors’ your organization no longer uses. Forensic data mining specialists can help you identify these vendors using advanced data analytics software.
- Rotate your employees’ duties. Many organizations do not have the staffing to allow for appropriate segregation of duties. Instead, rotate their duties on a regular basis to provide another mitigating control. You likely will be surprised what you and your employees learn about the processes.
- Sharpen your watch over financial processes. Management review is historically one of the most effective methods of detecting occupational fraud. One of the keys is ensuring this individual has review capabilities and no access. Finally, let your employees know you are watching. Besides improving “tone at the top,” this will increase the perception of detection.
While these four items cannot entirely eliminate fraud, they can help clean up some of the unnecessary fraud risks your organization faces.