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Although occupational fraud has slightly declined globally in the past year, privately held companies and small businesses are still being hit hard and at the highest rates compared to their larger counterparts. International Fraud Awareness Week (Nov. 3-9) is an ideal time to download our internal controls checklist, and refresh your knowledge below with some new, vital information on fraud in the workplace and preventive measures to take.
According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiner’s (AFCE) most recent Report to Nations, privately held companies with fewer than 100 employees were victimized more often than larger companies, with 31.8 percent more cases of fraudulent activity. Making matters even worse, only 49 percent of these companies were able to recover from their losses due to fraud.
This is not to assume that privately held companies and small business should accept the fact that one day their company will be victimized by fraud, but it is important to become aware of the current state of fraud, who is most impacted, what to look out for and how to prevent fraud.
Quick Fraud Facts
The ACFE Report to the Nations reveals pertinent fraud trends that could benefit companies faced with the threat:
Putting an End to Fraud
Occupational fraud is not an overnight devious venture for perpetrators. The average fraud activity lasts 18 months before it is detected. With advancements in technology and criminals becoming more savvy and efficient, capturing suspicious activity appears daunting, but there are many common anti-fraud measures that can be established with minimal cost. Victim organizations that implemented anti-fraud controls experienced considerably lower losses and duration-to-detection time than organizations lacking these control, according to the ACFE. Some of the most common anti-fraud controls to benefit privately held companies and small businesses with few dollars spent include:
Alternative Anti-Fraud Controls
While the following controls may be more costly, they have also been effective for detecting occupational fraud:
Anti-Fraud Resources and Best Practices
Stay current on new trends and practices to avoid becoming a victim of occupational fraud. The ACFE offers a variety of reports, presentations and webinars covering this subject, and Doeren Mayhew offers an internal controls checklist. Our certified fraud examiners in Michigan, Houston or Ft. Lauderdale are also available to provide anti-fraud information and resources.
This publication is distributed for informational purposes only, with the understanding that Doeren Mayhew is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional opinions on specific facts for matters, and, accordingly, assumes no liability whatsoever in connection with its use. Should the reader have any questions regarding any of the news articles, it is recommended that a Doeren Mayhew representative be contacted.
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