As a reasonable and intelligent business owner who employs reasonable and intelligent employees, you might think fraud deterrence programs are unnecessary. It’s a given that everyone knows they’re not supposed to steal from their employer, right?
And they also understand that as the boss, you get certain perks to which they are not entitled. It’s your company, not theirs; your right, not theirs. That’s another given, isn’t it?
“Your actions determine the kind of message you are sending to your employees about fraud,” says David Anderson, principal of David Anderson & Associates, a Philadelphia forensic accounting firm that provides a full range of fraud investigation and fraud deterrence programs in the Delaware Valley. “If you don’t have a strong fraud deterrence program in place and if you engage in questionable activities yourself, then you’re sending the wrong message.”
Anderson points to two recent fraud cases in which employees blamed management for creating an atmosphere of fraud tolerance. In one case, a defendant claimed the company never told her that fraudulent activities were unacceptable, indicating — to her — the company’s tacit approval of her illicit actions. In another case, the defendant claimed that because the company president was committing fraud by running personal expenses through the business and claiming them as business deductions, it was okay for him to defraud the company too.
“Whether you are a business owner, a corporate executive or an elected or appointed official, your employees look to you for cues regarding what is and what is not acceptable behavior regarding fraud,” Anderson said. “What kind of messages are you sending?”
Anderson suggests management make fraud deterrence a key objective by sending employees a strong message that fraud is unacceptable in the workplace and by living that message too.
Establish a clear fraud prevention policy and publicize it to employees through employee handbooks, manuals, training, memos, etc. Let your employees know that fraud investigation is an ever-present aspect of your business and that steps are always underway to ferret out the perpetrators of fraudulent activity.
If you do suspect that your business has fallen victim to fraud, Anderson recommends that you contact a Certified Fraud Examiner to conduct a comprehensive fraud investigation and determine the extent of your losses. A Certified Fraud Examiner from a firm that provides forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley also can help you establish a fraud deterrence program to help protect your company in the future. And always remember that the message you send by the example you set can be a powerful deterrent.
If you require the services of a Certified Fraud Examiner or any other forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, please contact the Philadelphia forensic accounting firm of David Anderson & Associates by calling David Anderson at 267-207-3597 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About David Anderson & Associates
David Anderson & Associates is a Philadelphia forensic accounting firm that provides a full range of forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley. The experienced professionals at David Anderson & Associates provide forensic accounting, business valuation, fraud investigation, litigation support, economic damage analysis, business consulting and outsourced CFO services. Company principal David Anderson has more than 30 years of experience in financial and operational leadership positions and is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiner and a Certified Valuation Analyst.