As many businesses learn the hard way, fraud, undoubtedly, is on the increase. In the UK alone, for the first time since 2011, the value of fraud committed in the UK last year topped £1bn; a 55% year-on-year rise.
The figures speak for themselves. Fraud can and will happen to any type of business in many different ways, no business is too small to be targeted. Whether it’s the accumulated £900m from the ‘super cases’ or the £18.9bn of fraud losses by SME’s, the revenue, reputation and long-term health of your business could be at risk unless you take action.
Whilst industries, size and revenue differ, one common denominator runs throughout – fraud isn’t going anywhere. Prevention is key but detection is vital.
Each year, be it from employees, customers, assets or suppliers, 1 in 4 businesses fall victim to fraud. If your business is one of the lucky 3 that evaded an instance of fraud last year, questions still need to be raised and the ability to detect fraudulent activity in your business still needs to be strong. It could be that those 3 out of 4 business are immune to fraud as they have processes and systems in place … but it’s possible that fraud is in fact taking place – the business just doesn’t have someone that is equipped to detect and combat the increasing level of sophistication that those responsible for fraud are now using. At a time when fraud is increasing year on year and businesses are losing on average 5% of their revenue to it, which one sounds the most likely scenario?
How to tell a friend from a foe?
With the evolution and growth of technology in recent years, there are machines, bots and systems that can be put into place to help reduce fraud risk, but fraud is very much a human crime committed in large by the very people that you trust. Therefore, the most viable solution and most effective method to combat a human crime is to not to solely rely on the fancy technology that can need constant update or repair, but to use and build on the one thing that is hardwired into people – their human instinct.
Of course, it isn’t simply enough to purely rely on instinct. Having that as a foundation and building the knowledge, skills, experience and resources that can come from understanding fraud risk , as well as the preventative and practical steps that can be taken to reduce it, is pivotal in the fight against fraud. Having somebody in an organisation that has the tools and recognised accreditation behind them puts a business in an ideal place to protect its finances, reputation and health in the future.
Equipping specialists within an organisation with the internationally recognised Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), is a perfect solution for those businesses that are keen to protect its future. Gaining a qualification that has a proven record of helping organisations in their bid to rid fraud not only dramatically reduces the risk of it but also proves that fraud can be prevented, detected and dealt with in any business or industry on an international level.
With ACFE research showing that organisations with CFEs on staff uncover frauds 50% sooner and have losses 55% lower. CFEs have a unique set of skills that are not found in any other career field or discipline. They combine knowledge of complex financial transactions with an understanding of investigative techniques, law and know how to demonstrate expertise in fraud prevention, detection and investigation, and are committed to continuing professional training and education.
No business is completely immune to fraud; but putting the measures in place to be able to lessen the ever growing risk is something that no business should ignore.
Whether or not you have been hit by it, fraud is the silent enemy of all businesses, but it’s an enemy that can be defeated with intelligence and armouring the business with it’s own fraud detection superheroes.