Although we do not like to believe it, fraud can be committed by trusted employees whose corrupt actions are often known to fellow employees, yet not reported for fear of upsetting the status quo. Fraud prevention can be implemented by creating a mechanism through which people can confidently report fraud without fear of judgement or reprisal.
Strong cultural norms surrounding the concept of “mateship” often prevent Australian workers from reporting fraud. For this reason, increased education about whistleblowers’ rights, responsibilities and protection is fundamental to establishing systems that enable organisation-wide, employee-driven fraud prevention.
Effective fraud prevention can be assisted by an approach that views employees as the key to minimising workplace corruption. Tapping into shop-floor knowledge can provide leaders with information vital to creating a positive workplace and stemming the potential loss of profits through fraud. The traditional approach to fraud prevention has been top-down. Internal fraud controls are invariably developed in a vacuum. This fails to tap into the sentiment and information of employees on the ground level.
How can you encourage and educate workers to report fraud?
Fraud prevention can be significantly aided by training employees to observe early warning signs or indicators of possible fraud. A recent survey indicated that in one third of fraud cases, red-flag warning signs were ignored by the organisation. Had these signals been acted upon, the total cost to the organisations involved could have been dramatically reduced.
Identifying red flag behaviour isn´t simply a matter of remaining vigilant. Fraud prevention is often difficult because the warning signs are often difficult to detect.
An employee may work extra hours; strive to complete tasks on their own, and/or never want to take leave the office. While these are traits of ambitious workers, they can also be indicators of corrupt behaviour.
Distinguishing dedication from dishonesty can be challenging, which is why it is imperative for modern organisations to establish mechanisms for fraud prevention that enables everyone within the company to confidently report fraud, malpractice and misconduct easily, securely and anonymously, without fear of exposure or ramification.
The very knowledge that an organisation has implemented a fraud prevention system can have a positive impact in reducing the incidence of corruption because often fraud is committed because the opportunity simply exists and the person responsible does not believe he/she will be caught.
The most costly corruption can run deep within organisations, and may require sophisticated methods to identify and handle the problem.
To encourage people to report fraud, an environment or workplace culture needs to be created that makes it easier for people to speak out and provide them with a mechanism that that reflects advances in technology. Subjecting whistleblowers to a face to face interview or interrogation over the telephone together with the risk of being identified, misunderstood or misquoted are no longer options. Other alternatives need to be explored and implemented.
Those with information must feel safe, supported and secure with the ability to report confidentially and anonymously.
Your-Call has developed a new approach for fraud prevention and the receipt of information from whistleblowers that blends traditional telephone-based reporting with powerful web-based reporting.
Your-Call’s online reporting solution of Your-Alert allows Directors, Officers and Managers to tap into real-time 24/7, live information on matters of concern in 4 key areas: dishonesty; behavioural issues; regulation; and safety, and Your-Say enables employees, customers, vendors and suppliers to have their say on a range of matters concerning the organisation’s policies and procedures, identification of risks and suggestions for improvement.
Your-Call clients have reported a reduction in fraud and theft attributable in part to the presence of Your-Alert ticking away 24/7 in the background monitoring behaviour, making people think who´s watching, am I going to get caught?
If you’re looking to implement a system of fraud prevention that will result in lower corruption, higher profits and a more motivated workplace, then click here to email us and download our FREE The Ultimate Whistleblowing Checklist on how to establish a best-practice whistleblowing program, or simply give us a call at 1300 788 712 to discuss how Your-Call can benefit your organisation.