All too often, organizations don’t think about mitigating fraud risk until after a fraud has been discovered. While it’s never too late to address fraud risk, the losses would indicate it’s better addressed sooner than later.
When you think about it, we often treat fraud risks like health risks. We assume all is well until we’re sick and have to find a doctor. Just as regular doctor visits can be beneficial, regular reviews of anti-fraud controls can help diagnose fraud risks before they turn into more.
Conveniently, this is the time of year when the majority of organizations review policies, procedures and financial results. As such, it’s a good time to make fraud risk mitigation a point of focus and discuss some of the most effective anti-fraud controls:
- Data analytics – Leveraging the data available in your organization—whether financial, attribute-based or text—is an effective and efficient anti-fraud control. Especially for organizations with limited resources, data analytics can have a significant impact on anti-fraud efforts. To read other posts on this topic, click here.
- Hotlines – The most common method of detecting occupational fraud is tips, and providing a channel for employees, vendors, customers and others to report relevant information about potentially improper activity is one of the most effective anti-fraud controls. To learn more about hotlines, visit our IntegraReport.
- Management review – Organization leaders should have a pretty clear picture of what’s going on in the organization, and they should help promote a strong anti-fraud culture. By performing periodic reviews of key business processes, reports and data, management has the opportunity to enhance an organization’s anti-fraud efforts. This recent Insights blog post from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) offers tips for improving your management review.
- Surprise audits – Nobody likes surprises—especially not someone committing fraud. It should come as no surprise that unscheduled audits, cash counts and inventory observations are effective anti-fraud controls. Without notification, it’s difficult to prepare false documents, hide stolen goods or modify reports.
Are you looking for a more comprehensive review of your controls? Complete ACFE’s Fraud Prevention Check-Up.