Fraud is one of the most damaging crimes to Australian businesses. But it is also one of the hardest to detect. Learning the signs of fraud and how to act without facing serious implications for your business is crucial.
Australian businesses have lost $128 million in fraud-related cases before Australian courts.
But this is not just because criminals are getting away with it. Up to 80% of Australian businesses have never carried out a fraud risk assessment and 64% do not have a formal risk assessment for fraud in place.
Without the proper processes and education, how can you be sure that your business isn’t at risk?
You should not wait until fraud has happened to you before you act.
Having worked with some of Australia’s top legal firms, I have learned how to help businesses gather evidence and take action to avoid precarious repercussions.
It all starts with a gut feeling.
What are the signs of fraud?
If your company experiences a loss of stock, a drop in profits or a change in processes, you may have been the subject of fraud. You may think a change in processes is an innocent business adjustment, but it can leave you open to loopholes and blind spots that an opportunist employee or criminal can thrive on.
If your business loses stock or money in a way that does not add up in the books, you may have a feeling that something shady is happening behind the scenes.
The most common mistake made by a business is waiting too late before taking action. Research shows that 71.4% of Australian fraud was committed internally, which means that employees are taking advantage of the loopholes in processes and gaps in security.
So, if you have a feeling that something is not adding up or does not feel right, you may need to conduct a fraud investigation to determine what (if any) action you can take.
What is the purpose of a fraud investigation?
The role of an investigator for fraud investigations is simple: to gather indisputable evidence that provides clarity and confidence in order for the employer to make informed decisions on what action to take.
But this does not always mean the aim is to catch the bad guy.
Investigations help give you a clear picture of how your business is being run and how your employees are working. If fraud is taking place, an investigation will give you the peace of mind and certainty to take action. If fraud is not taking place, an investigation can still shine a light on why your business has experienced a change in earnings or assets.
Whatever is going on in your business, a fraud investigation will help you make informed decisions from the standpoint of being legally sound.
What if I already know that fraudulent activity is being conducted within my business?
Reacting to fraud without gathering evidence first can lead you down a dangerous road.
An investigation will gather and document all the evidence you need to take action without incurring costly legal expenses.
I have seen it before. Companies take disciplinary action against employees before they get their documentation and evidence in order. When dealt with incorrectly and abruptly, matters can become complex and end up in lengthy court proceedings.
How do I conduct an investigation in my workplace?
If you have a gut feeling that something is not right, the first step you should take is having a confidential discussion with someone who can help shine a light on what might be occurring in your business.
Rivica offers free consultations to determine your circumstances and lay out your options. We will tell you what can be done and what evidence is required for you to take action and reduce the risk to you and your company of litigation.
By talking with us, we can help you get to the bottom of your situation without hasty decision making or uncertainty.
Schedule a free consultation with us today to learn more about how we can help.