First and foremost, supervisors and employees must have a true sense of pride in their work. They must feel that what they do each day is important, that it adds
value to the organization and to those the organization serves. Pride in doing things well, to the best of an individual’s ability is the foundation of any business risk model, including effectively managing fraud risks. Every day, supervisors at all levels must reinforce the importance of the work and each employee’s role. Instilling and supporting a sense of pride in work quality is critical in managing fraud exposures.
Second, make sure all staff know how to do their job through meaningful skills training and one-on-one coaching. Not mentoring – skills coaching. Few employees, managers or executives come to the organization with deep knowledge of fraud prevention. And most organizations do a horrible job of filling the gap. How can your staff prevent and promptly detect wrongdoing if they don’t know how to do it? Managers must teach their staff exactly what wrongdoing and fraud looks like in the transactions and activities they see every day. It’s so simple. Everyone must know what can go wrong and how to respond. And it’s every manager’s job to make sure that happens.
Third, encourage every employee to think like an owner when reviewing and approving transactions. If each employee thought, “What if this was my money we’re spending here?” they would be much more likely to react to the strange, odd and curious in what they see – before putting their good name on the document.
Openly encourage an attitude of “Fraud? Not on my watch!” Attitude is important. When managers are able to blend pride, skills and attitude, fraud gets pushed out the door. Those intent on committing wrongdoing will look at an employee group that is motivated to fight this problem and realize, “These folks aren’t messing around. If I try it here, I’ll get caught right away.”
I’ve always believed we should hire for attitude and train for skills. What is the attitude of your team when it comes to fighting fraud? Are they motivated, proud and skilled? If not, get them there fast. Or you’ll be an easy target for those looking to commit wrongdoing and fraud. Let us know if we can help.
John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”