Take Control During International Fraud Awareness Week

By Zafar I. Anjum

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Next week is International Fraud Awareness Week (3-9 Nov. 2013). It is a good time for organizations to stop and assess their situation: Are you protected from fraud? Have you properly screened your employees? Have you conducted proper due diligence in terms of your business relationships?

Any company that can answer "yes" to all three of those questions is rare, indeed. For most, the reality is probably a lot more cloudy. Every day, new headlines come to the fore regarding organizations that have been victimized in some way. When insider crime and fraud is discovered after-the-fact, it is difficult, sometimes impossible, to fully recover those losses.

A new study from the UK's BDO and the University of Portsmouth has documented a disturbing trend: fraud cases have been spiking since the beginning of the recession. The study looked at cases from across nine developed countries that took place between 2007-2012. The researchers determined that fraud losses suffered by organizations are "at least 3 percent" of revenues, and probably more than 5 percent and possibly more than 10 percent.”

That amount of loss could put a business under - or cripple its finances to a degree that that will take years from which to recover. In these challenging economic times, increased financial pressure often means an increase in fraud, making internal controls and thorough record-keeping absolute necessities for your business.

Recognizing the need to be proactive and have expert protection is the first part of being aware. The second is making a plan and following through with it. That is where partnering with the right professionals makes all the difference.

While we at CRI Group are proud supporters of International Fraud Awareness Week, our commitment to this line of work is year-round. Our experts are immersed in fraud, due diligence, background checking and related issues. CRI Group provides a team of seasoned accountants and Certified Fraud Examiners who combine their skills in forensic accounting and investigation to ensure that your company is without financial discrepancies.

So during this Fraud Awareness Week, take the time to make a serious assessment of your controls and preparedness for fraud. Then reach out to CRI Group -- we are here to help.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 Zafar I. Anjum, CFE, CIS, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime), MBCI is Chief Executive Officer of CRI Group, a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organizations. A Licensed Entity of the Dubai International Financial Centre, CRI safeguards businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. CRI Group maintains offices in UAE, Qatar, Pakistan, Singapore and the United Kingdom. Email Zafar at zanjum@crigroup.com.