Fraud Prevention Tip: Provide “How-to” Anti-Fraud Skills Training
If your goal is to reduce and ultimately eliminate fraud in your organization, you have to take the appropriate steps. And that includes providing anti-fraud training to everyone in your organization. That’s right—you must teach every employee, supervisor, manager, executive, and board member the skills they need to tackle fraud.
It’s the single most important thing you need to do to fight fraud. And it makes sense, doesn’t it? The more people who are equipped to identify and handle issues related to…
- Time reporting
- Credit card transactions
- Inventory theft
- Payment schemes
- Journal entries
…and so on, the better off your organization will be.
It’s so simple that it seems like common sense. Yet, as my business results coach continually reminds me, too often common sense is not common practice in business.
What Role Anti-Fraud Training Plays
There’s a lot you can and should do to combat wrongdoing, theft, and fraud in your organization. However, teaching others the necessary skills is a critical part of any anti-fraud campaign.
Let me give you some interesting statistics…
Several years ago, I was instructing a skills training webinar covering fraud prevention and detection. With over 1,400 people on the line from just about every job title and time zone in the world, I asked this question:
“The following four actions are part of an effective anti-fraud campaign. But if you could only choose one, which one would have the greatest impact?”
Here were the choices:
- Implement a policy on fraud responsibilities.
- Conduct an organization-wide comprehensive fraud exposure analysis.
- Provide awareness, prevention, and early detection skills training for managers and staff.
- Catch and prosecute wrongdoers.
I asked them which option they would pick, reminding them that they could only choose one.
Well, through the wonders of modern technology, each participant in the webinar was able to vote using their keyboard. We had their responses compiled in seconds. And the winner was as follows: anti-fraud skills training for managers and staff.
In fact, this option received an overwhelming response from the webinar attendees. It got 62% of the votes! That’s almost two-thirds of the anti-fraud experts on the webinar screaming loud and clear that teaching anti-fraud skills is the single most important action organizations can take to manage fraud risks.
Nothing else even comes close.
And here’s why…
Equipping everyone with valuable anti-fraud skills helps fill gaps. Instead of relying on one or two experts, the organization can have the entire team keeping an eye out for and taking steps to address issues. As a result, the organization is in a better position to:
- Mitigate potential fraud risks
- Strengthen anti-fraud controls
- Ensure protocols are being followed
- Report fraud issues correctly
In short, your organization or clients will be better off if you prioritize training for everyone.
Where Most Organizations Fall Short
It’s clear that providing anti-fraud training is just common sense. But here’s where common sense falls apart—and organizations fall short.
Ever since that webinar, I’ve been asking the participants at my live and virtual training programs if their organization provides the skills training needed to fight fraud. Not just “awareness” sessions—real, useful, meaningful, day-to-day skills training. And the result is troubling, to say the least. Less than 5% have ever raised their hands in response. And to clarify, I’ve probably asked 20,000 or more people in just the last five years.
Only 5% of those I’ve talked with have confirmed that their organization provides team members with the necessary training. That’s one in 20 employees who feel they know how to manage fraud.
Yikes! No wonder fraud is exploding in business…
How would your employees or clients respond to this question?
If only a few can state, with confidence, that they know how to deter, prevent, and detect fraud in the transactions they see, it’s time to make a change. Together, we need to take steps to provide everyone with the knowledge, skills, and tools to fight fraud. Otherwise, we’re leaving our organizations vulnerable.
What Effective Anti-Fraud Training Looks Like
To make sure everyone in your organization has the right skills to fight fraud, you have to know what effective anti-fraud training looks like. And make no mistake—you need to go much further than just awareness. For training to be truly useful, it has to cover all the bases.
Here’s what your entire team should learn from training:
- The different forms fraud can take in business
- Examples of fraud in your organization and others
- The consequences fraud can have on a business
- Tools to use to pinpoint issues of fraud
- The proper way to report fraud suspicions
Additionally, every team member should understand the unique part they play in preventing, identifying, and addressing fraud. According to the ACFE’s 2022 Report to the Nations, 42% of fraud cases are detected by tips—more than half of which come from managers and employees. So, employees need to know what their responsibilities are regarding fraud.
Although giving comprehensive anti-fraud training to every employee, supervisor, manager, executive, and board member seems like a lot, it’s well worth it in the end.
Don’t Neglect to Implement Anti-Fraud Skills Training
Don’t expect your team members to be able to handle fraud risks in your organization if they’ve never been taught how to do so. Sponsor or conduct skills training programs that specifically address what your team members need to know to prevent, detect, and handle fraud. That way, your organization will be primed to tackle fraud from multiple angles.
The good news is that meaningful, skills-based anti-fraud training is what we do at Hall Consulting. In fact, it’s our core business. And if you’re looking to expand your (and your team’s) skills, we can help.