New ACFE Report Shows Boards of Directors Are Least Likely to Receive Fraud Training



According to the ACFE’s latest report, the Fraud Awareness Training Benchmarking Report, 14% of respondents said board members receive no fraud training. While some organizations may feel it’s not a priority to include them in routine training, the ACFE’s research director Andi McNeal, CFE, CPA, says it can be a costly oversight. “The board of directors plays an important role in an organization’s fraud risk governance,” she said. “To effectively discharge this responsibility, the board needs to be educated on the organization’s specific fraud risk profile and committed to discussing fraud risks as part of their oversight agenda.”

While organizations may want to reevaluate offering more training specifically to their board members, they appear to understand the importance of training overall. The report shows that the majority of organizations provide fraud awareness training for all employees, and 66% make the training mandatory. The most common topic covered in training is red flags of fraud, with 91% of organizations including it and 6% planning on including it in the future. The least common topic covered is past fraud cases or issues. While 69% of organizations discuss previous fraud occurrences in their training, 17% do not currently include this topic or plan to do so in the future.

“Reasons for not including it in future trainings are likely related to organizations not wanting to give employees any ideas, not wanting to admit shortcomings in controls or not trying to acknowledge failures to prevent fraud,” said ACFE senior research specialist Mason Wilder, CFE. Wilder, the author of the report, said that this avoidance to discuss real fraud cases means that organizations are missing out on important and effective lessons. “Highlighting actual cases illustrates to employees that the risks are very real and can impact the organization in significant ways. Plus, depending on how those prior incidents were handled, covering them in training can show employees that the organization takes fraud seriously, is actively looking for it and will punish anyone who commits fraud.”

The Fraud Awareness Training Benchmarking Report also has benchmarking data about who conducts the training, what formats are most popular, sizes of training budgets and more. The report is based on 1,706 responses from anti-fraud professionals around the world and across multiple industries.

Access the full report.

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