2013 EMEIA Fraud Survey

Navigating the risks: six steps to help protect your business

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Bribery and corruption issues around the globe continue to challenge even the most robust compliance organizations. Across jurisdictions, sectors and functions, individuals are feeling increased and direct pressure.

Some individuals respond to this pressure by taking short cuts, acting unethically or even illegally. Businesses manage this risk in many ways, but we have observed common features among those who manage it most effectively.

Six steps to help protect your business

  1. Own the problem: In businesses where the risks of fraud, bribery and corruption are properly acknowledged, compliance is not seen as a “tick-box” exercise. In these businesses, management owns the problem, and boards challenge management to ensure that they are prioritizing risk and dealing with issues effectively.
  2. Deal with the issues — make compliance relevant: Making compliance relevant to local teams does not mean diluting the program or bending the rules. It means engaging with local teams to manage specific requirements while retaining a robust and consistent approach.
  3. Communicate the risks: Businesses that have a strong code of ethics are not just good at controlling behavior. They excel at communicating the risks of unethical conduct.
  4. Communicate the benefits: Investors and regulators are looking for global companies to show their ability to prevent and detect fraud or other unethical behavior. This can often be demonstrated through an audit of the effectiveness of the compliance function.
  5. Focus resources: A sharp focus on key risks is critical, and begins with understanding where the risks are. Having identified the risks, businesses need to act. Technology has a key role to play in helping focus resources. The use of forensic data analytics can identify incidences of anomalous activity and guide more detailed assessments.
  6. Ask questions, demand answers: Companies with robust approaches to fraud, bribery and corruption exercise their audit rights on third parties and insist that their suppliers regularly respond to requests for information.