FRAUD AT THE WORKPLACE
Fraud is not limited to deliberate manipulation of financial records. It can also involve overstatement and falsification of expenses of the organization. Fraud therefore, entails deceitful intentions aiming at obtaining an illegal advantage. This can be directly or direct. Fraud at workplace can also occur due to incompetence or gross negligence by members of staff.
Workplace fraud has inflicted both established corporations and non-profit making organizations a great deal of resources. All organizations are susceptible to fraud. A survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2016 indicates 48% of surveyed companies have been affected by some form of fraud. The ultimate cost to these companies was estimated to be $6.75 billion. The cost is even higher if financial efforts to prevent the vice and management time lost is considered.
Forms of Corporate Fraud
Fraud in a company can take any form. It can range from false expense claim, inventory theft, and vehicle/machine renovation claims.
IT related fraud
The advent of technology has led to computerization of previously manual tasks in organizations. The computer systems removed the physical security barriers that protected vital company information. Hackers or insider individuals with sufficient knowledge of inner workings of the company, and system loopholes can therefore access the records in computer databases, then alter or remove some parts to their own advantage.
Identity related fraud.
In this case, one or a group of individuals impersonates member of management the company itself to mislead the clients. It is prevalent due to companies’ presence in social networks.
It involves vital information about the firm albeit kept confidential. This can include sales records, amount of stock, and liabilities. This information is then stolen and used by an individual or sold to another company which can use it for its own advantage.
It’s the lowest level of fraud and the most prevalent. The perpetrators doesn’t think it’s wrong. It comes in form of inflated expenses and taking organizations petty resources.
Involves stealing cash moments after it has been listed in accounting system. This is brought about by knowledge of bookkeeping ethos of the organization by unauthorized employees.
Effects of Corporate Fraud to an Organization.
Loss of Capital
Fraud within an organizations brings about financial strain as key financial resources meant for investment and other ventures are siphoned into individuals’ pockets.
Suspected fraudulent activities in an organization harms the image of the company to outsiders and potential clients. There is also increased caution or complete withdrawal of opportunities such as contracts and tender allocations.
Internal Distrust and Wrangles
Fraud lowers the morale of honest and hardworking members of the staff. The management may also view some honest employees with distrust. This damages the organizational success culture.
Corporate Fraud Investigation
Private investigation companies are hired during events such as research, interviews, and background checks. The services of these companies are, however, highly valued when there arises a situation of soaring fraud incidents in the organization. A private investigator’s goal is to covertly conduct surveillance on the organizations activities, identifying fraudsters among the staff, and compiling the collected evidence which is eventually used to prosecute the perpetrators.
A private investigator employs various techniques;
Research and Interrogations
For instance, employees requesting some form of compensation or benefits are interviewed to provide all required details about the request. All proceedings of the interviews are kept. This helps unearth some details that are often overlooked or ignored by traditional casual procedures an organization might have been conducting previously.
The private investigator collects digital information and evaluates it. This can produce details such as when a file was created, source, destination, editing history and so on. Browsing history, installation of malicious programs as well as suspicious activities concerning staff e-mails.
There are professionally dishonest employees who hop from one organization to another committing fraud. The private investigation company therefore undertakes to vet the newly hired staff to prevent the organization from hiring possible fraudsters.
Scrutinizing the suspected personnel’s behavior by employing such techniques as gathering video information, human and vehicle surveillance. This should however, be carried out by professionals under the country’s laws.
It is unlawful to gain access to personal information about a person without consent in many jurisdictions. Private investigators will have to acquire personal data by false pretense during the investigation. Accusing a member of staff of wrongdoing can bring a counter lawsuit. Most organization dislike the media attention brought about by internal investigations. There are such pitfall as trespass, copyright infringement, harassment and tapping. A private investigator must therefore be trained and highly experienced and should even have had previous career in law enforcement.