Throughout the lifespan of a corporation, stakeholders can be faced with the risk of economic crime. Often, it becomes a reality long after the issue should have been brought to the attention of the board of directors. Entrepreneur that have invested a great deal of time and energy building a company from the ground up, find it hard to imagine that something as intrusive as economic crime can happen to them.
Do you have the processes in place within your company to mitigate this risk? If you don’t have a plan and solutions in place, there is a possibility that you will be blindsided by fraud, worse yet – there’s a chance it could have been prevented.
Based on 2009 data from the PricewaterhouseCoopers Global Economic Crime Survey, economic fraud and crime are on the rise in Canada. There was a 10 percent increase in companies reporting being victims of economic crime. From that 56% of Canadian companies, 38% of them reported that the fraudulent activity was detected by chance or by an internal/external tip off.
Should you find yourself in a similar situation, are you confident in your current lines of communication within to report the fraud ? Will you be one of the 38% of companies that were able to act on a tip to catch the crimes before they went too far?
In addition to an ethics reporting program, having an effective whistleblower policy in place is one of the easiest ways to increase the likelihood of catching the fraud before it damages the organization. Open up the lines of communication with your employees and let them know that they’re protected within the corporation from prosecution when coming forward to report any kind of crime, fraud or unethical behaviour happening.
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