Top Tips to prevent fraud in the workplace

Christmas time is not a particularly nice time to talk about fraud but, as we are just about to enter the new year it's often the best time to review our business systems and processes.

Latest research figures suggest fraud in the workplace can take all sorts of forms and is ever increasing. According to a 2014 report by Cifas (Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance Service) - cases of fraud committed inside an organisation (i.e by it's employees) rose by 18% in 2013 compared to the same time in 2012. This increase is down to a number of factors.

Fraudulent attempts to gain employment. e.g. applicants declaring that they hold professional qualifications specified for the role they are applying for, failure to reveal criminal convictions.

Some frauds are committed by well-established employees. The average length of service for those who committed fraud was 6.5 years before the fraud was discovered.  

Theft of data is on the increase and has far reaching consequences, Businesses need to have tighter restrictions of access to data and closer controls of systems.  

Dishonest actions such as theft of cash or submitting false expenses. These accounted for 40% of all internal frauds in the Cifa research.

So what can we do to ensure we are always on top of it?  Here are our latest Top Tips to see what to look for and how to prevent it.

1. Always conduct thorough background checks on all job applicants.
2. Always check references thoroughly.
3. Set up and maintain strong supervision controls.
4. Create clear firm reporting lines.
5. Set up and maintain strong financial internal controls including separate accounting duties and having 2 signatories authorising payments.
6. Educate your staff about fraud, fraud awareness and ethics.
7. Have a written 'code of conduct' this will establish guidelines and give your team a better idea of the business's principles.
8. Consider running external audits on internal controls but beware not to de-motivate your team.
9. Make sure you have checked your business insurance policy and ensure you have Fidelity Insurance and Cyber Cover. (Fidelity insurance covers a business against theft by employees and Cyber Cover protects you if you have a security breach or suffer a cyber attack)

If you would like to chat through your current insurance policy or make any changes please contact us here or ring us on 01494 450 450