New guide helps tackle fraud in the workplace
The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has published a guide that helps companies identify and react to workplace fraud.
The Guide is being published against a backdrop of figures highlighting the problems and disquiet in UK organisations:
• 30 per cent admit they need to improve cash flow management
• 9 out of 10 individuals believe their boss doesn’t trust them -
• just 8 per cent claim they have ‘sign off’ responsibility at work
• 35 per cent believe ‘managing costs’ is the biggest challenge they face
• 48 per cent of organisations report being victims of fraud.
Focusing on the triggers for fraud, the Guide urges UK organisations to focus on 3 key issues as part of a fraud management strategy. It argues that a working environment with few internal controls, unclear reporting structures and the existence of a ‘blame culture’ all create the opportunity for fraud to take place.
However, the Guide also encourages employers to recognise that fraud is not just opportunistic, showing that motivation for dishonesty is often rooted in the pressure caused by unrealistic targets or financial problems. “Fraud can be stopped in the early stages if robust detection procedures are in place,” says Petra Wilton, director of policy and research at the Chartered Management Institute. “Employers need to highlight the impact that fraud can have on individuals and the business. Failure to do so means that organisations run the risk of stifling employees if they believe they are being watched by Big Brother.”
The guide provides a number of best practice principles for deterring and detecting fraud, including:
• developing a fraud strategy statement: outlining what is and is not acceptable
• establishing an audit committee: to design fraud prevention measures and investigate allegations of malpractice
• making use of technology: to share information across the organisation in an effort to cross reference information and spot fraud more easily
• developing a culture where fraud is unacceptable: ensuring that from the top-down key messages are communicated and employees are made aware of reporting routes if they suspect a problem
‘Workplace Fraud: the enemy within’ can be downloaded from www.managers.org.uk/fraud