The current climate will inevitably put renewed pressures on the financial targets of companies and individuals, and may see some previously concealed frauds bubbling to the surface. Our Forensic Accounting team would like to share some valuable advice about how to minimise potential risks and steps to consider if you suspect fraudulent activity has taken place
What should you do to minimise risks?
- Understanding the business
- Fraud mapping/identification i.e. what are the main risks of fraud inherent in the nature of the business
- Maintain strong internal controls particularly around cash.
- Segregation of duties
- Regular review and monitoring
- Unscheduled audits
- Vetting and references
- Train employees to prevent fraud
- Regular appraisals and monitoring
- Enforce holidays and monitor those employees who never miss their processes/procedures
- Fraud Policies and procedures
- Implement a fraud policy
- Ensure a whistleblowing hotline/process
Do you suspect an intentional ‘wrong-doing’ and need to conduct an investigation?
The procedures to follow in conducting an investigation can be a mine-field and must be adhered to in order to avoid unintentionally prejudicing the investigation and inadvertently offering a line of defence to the suspect. We are experienced in working with legal teams and our Forensic IT ‘partner’ to ensure the following do not present such issues:
- The collation of email and electronic files – Electronic material that may either be used in a trial or other legal proceedings, or may be the subject of the legal process of disclosure, care must be taken to preserve the electronic material (including background metadata) in exactly the same condition as it was originally received;
- Attracting or retaining privilege in documents – The existence of privilege may however be disrupted, or indeed lost, if the assignment is not structured appropriately;
- Conducting interviews in the context of disciplinary, civil or criminal proceedings – Interviews need to be carefully planned and have regard to the context in which any evidence obtained will be presented; and
- Know the rights of the suspects – Failure to respect their rights may inadvertently offer them a line of defence and render the client liable to claims for compensation, regardless of that individual’s culpability.