AUSTIN, Texas (Nov. 14, 2012)-- Screen employees. Conduct audits. During International Fraud Awareness Week, the
Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) provides these and other simple steps any
organization can take to help manage risk and decrease losses.
Hundreds of businesses and agencies
worldwide have partnered this week with the ACFE, the world’s largest
anti-fraud organization, to participate in International Fraud Awareness Week to
promote anti-fraud awareness and education.
The grassroots movement shines a spotlight
on the issue during a time when organizations around the world are losing an
estimated 5 percent of their annual revenues to fraud, according to an ACFE
study released earlier this year. Applied to the 2011 Gross World Product, this
figure translates to a potential projected annual fraud loss of more than $3.5
The ACFE advises organizations of any size
to take the following measures to combat fraud:
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. Implement an employee reporting system, such as an anonymous hotline, to help uncover fraud.
Every company, regardless of size or
industry, can benefit from formal employment guidelines. When hiring staff,
conduct thorough background investigations. Check educational, credit and
employment history (as allowed by law), as well as references. After hiring,
incorporate evaluation of the employee's compliance with company ethics and
anti-fraud programs into regular performance reviews.
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.
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): http://www.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 investigation, prevention and detection.
Fraud Week was first organized 12 years ago
by the ACFE in an effort to proactively fight fraud
and help safeguard businesses and the economy from this growing problem.
then, the list of supporters has grown to more than 700 business, agencies and
individuals, many of whom are engaging in various activities during the week, including:
hosting fraud awareness training for employees and/or the community, assessing
fraud knowledge and risk factors within their organization, posting articles on
company websites and in newsletters, and teaming with local media to highlight
the problem of fraud.
President and CEO James D. Ratley, CFE, said that the support of organizations
around the world helps make Fraud Week an effective tool in raising anti-fraud
fraud prevention and detection is a year-round endeavor, International Fraud
Awareness Week provides a great opportunity to spotlight this serious problem
and stress the importance of anti-fraud training and education,” Ratley said. “Once
again, we want to say ‘thank you’ to all of the Fraud Awareness Week supporters
around the world for your commitment to the cause,” Ratley said.
more information about increasing awareness and reducing the risk of fraud
during International Fraud Awareness Week, visit www.FraudWeek.com.