Running a business is rarely easy, you’re always looking for ways to balance the books and improve the companies bottom line. The job is made even harder if there are outside forces trying to defraud your business. Corporate fraud can be devastating, it can even cause businesses to sink completely.
If you suspect something fishy is going on regarding your company finances, make sure you take action immediately and contact the authorities. There are things you can do to minimise your business’s risk of falling victim to fraud. Read this guide to help you out.
How to Detect Fraud
If your suspicions have been raised, the first thing to do is work out whether fraud is really being carried out or not. You need to look at the ways in which fraud may have taken place, look for any evidence and then think about who could be responsible. Don’t go around accusing people without any proof though.
If you suspect someone within the company of wrongdoing, look out for any warning signs they might be giving off. Ask yourself: are they behaving differently than usual? Do they have a particular reason for needing money? If the answers are yes, it might be time to get professional help involved.
How to Respond to Internal Fraud
The first step to take if you seriously suspect someone of internal fraud would be to get a company like Insight to investigate the issue further. You might also want to conduct your own internal investigation. But if the fraud is big, it might constitute police involvement. Remember, if you conduct your own investigation, be careful not to do anything that might ruin the chances of subsequent legal prosecutions.
It may difficult to investigate a big fraud job, there could be lots of individuals involved. If you feel like the operation is large and far-reaching, get the police involved quickly. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
How to Respond to External Fraud
Dealing with external fraud is even more messy. First of all you need to try to find out what has gone wrong. It could simply be a case of misunderstanding between two companies. It doesn’t constitute fraud if you simply have a financial dispute with another company. If you do have a disagreement with another company, contact the Financial Conduct Authority. They’ll be able to help settle the dispute.
If you think you can prove serious criminal intent, then it’s time to look at getting police involved.
How to Prevent Fraud
Whether you’ve experienced fraud before or not, there are ways you can limit the risk of it happening in the future. You’ll never succeed in eliminating the risk of fraud, but you can find plenty of ways in which to limit the damage and catch it quickly.
Carry out risk assessments regularly to see how well your company would deal with a case of fraud. Then look at ways you can improve your security and controls. Constantly update these security methods, so you move with technological improvements.