Boss in his office reading newspaper - the business section

Fraud Prevention Tip #2: Fight Through What Holds You Back

As CFO for his $3 billion company, David has a lot on his plate. Rapid growth, thin controls in new overseas markets, monthly and quarterly reporting deadlines, and overseeing a staff of over 75. Fact is he just never gets time to actively address fraud risks. He knows he should. But so far his efforts have been limited to keeping his fingers crossed and hoping for the best.

Until last week. That was when his accounts payable team found what is turning out to be a multi-million dollar vendor fraud. And it’s been going on for over three years. Not surprisingly, David is now ready to act.

I’ve been showing clients how to initiate, lead and sustain effective Anti-Fraud Campaigns for over 25 years. Unfortunately, for most organizations it takes a direct hit like David’s to force them into action.

But why should that be? Isn’t Fraud Risk Management just part of larger Business Risk Management ongoing efforts?

Quite simply the answer is yes. But there is a definite pattern of reasons and excuses about why organizations – especially large organizations – don’t take effective action to manage their fraud risks before they are victimized.

Here are three common excuses for inaction. Do they sound familiar?

Excuse 1: Uncertainty About How to Start and What’s Involved

How many times have we all heard that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step? Pretty basic stuff. Unless you don’t know which direction to Concept of businessman surrounded by questionstake that first step. North? South? East? West? Or something angled in between. Get the first steps wrong and you are headed way off in the wrong direction five steps later. And every subsequent step takes you even further from your intended goal.

The Anti-Fraud Tips in these blogs tell you pretty much every step to take. You’ll get the road-map to point you in the right direction from day one. Follow these ideas, and ‘uncertainty’ as an excuse for inaction evaporates, allowing confidence from taking proven actions to quickly fill in the void.

Following these ideas on your own may be all you need to get the job done over time. But an experienced guide can accelerate you progress on the anti-fraud trail. Just ask for help from someone who has walked this path too many times to count.

Excuse 2: Lost Momentum

We’ve seen dozens of corporate Anti-Fraud Campaigns start with a bang and then quickly fade away to a fizzle.

Why? Simple: inadequate leadership support.

Fighting fraud is a Campaign, not an Event. To work, it requires the visible, vocal support of senior managers over an extended period until it sticks and becomes how we do business at every level. It’s not the flavor of the day, to be pushed aside as other important issues need more immediate attention. It requires a sustained effort until fighting fraud becomes part of the reflex ‘muscle-memory’ of every employee.closeup of newton pendulum

Removing and replacing habits takes time. Investment in leadership time and other resources must be secured right from the start. And that leadership starts with the Chief Executive Officer. No one else can make it happen.

After all, isn’t the CEO the de facto Chief Risk Officer regardless of whether someone else may have that title on their business card? Shouldn’t the CEO lead the charge against fraud? You know the answer, and so does your CEO.

Excuse 3: Flawed Beliefs About the ROI from Anti-Fraud Campaigns

Many leaders in organizations both large and small have the same flawed belief: we don’t have much fraud and the cost of managing the little bit we have isn’t Child's Play - banker, financierjustified. In short, the ROI – Return in Investment – doesn’t justify the effort.

Yet when I ask them to quantify just how much fraud, misconduct, theft and other wrongdoing they experienced in the last 12 months, with only three exceptions in over 25 years they have no idea.

Enter the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (www.ACFE.com). Their “2014 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse” states that “the typical organization loses 5% of revenues each year to fraud.”

5 percent of revenues? I don’t buy it and never have. It’s just too big to be reality.

But in my own work with clients, I’ve never seen less than 1 percent in larger organizations. 1 percent of $3 billion for David in our example above would still be $30 million. His team just discovered a multimillion dollar case. I bet he’s wondering where the rest is hidden? (And if he’s not, he should be!)

In large organizations, you’ll never cut your losses from misconduct and fraud down to zero, so don’t make that you goal. But try this idea on for size.
Assume it’s 1 percent of your revenue. Could you cut that in half in 18 months? The answer is a resounding yes.

For David, those savings would be a minimum of $15 million added directly to his bottom line through better ‘fraud expense control’. And I’m confident of results two to three times that based on my past experience.

How’s that for ROI, CFO’s?

Exactly how do you do it? By following the ideas in these 40 Fraud Prevention Tips. You’ll need to stay tuned for more of the details – or reach out right now and we’ll get you started on your own Anti-Fraud Campaign today.

How many of these and other excuses blocking serious anti-fraud efforts do you face in your business or clients? Unfortunately every organization has them, and they won’t go away on their own. Right now is the time to fight through these barriers – these excuses for inaction – and get the job done.

We can help. Just say the word and we’ll get started together.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

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.”

 

 

how to establish influence at a new job

How to Establish Influence at a New Job

So you’ve got a new job. Congrats! But now you face the challenge of adapting to your new workplace and building your reputation and influence within the organization. This can be a pretty daunting task to even the most seasoned supervisors and employees, but it’s important that you dive right in and start carving out your role and reputation without delay.

As you concentrate on mastering the tasks required during the first few weeks of your new position, it’s important that you also gain an understanding of how the organization works as whole and determine the cultural dynamics of the workforce. This will help you gain momentum quickly as you work to build legitimate influence and provide measurable value in your new position.

Here are some tips for doing just that:

1. Become the go-to person for whatever you do

When you introduce yourself to other people within your new organization, you should establish yourself as an authority in your position and offer to be of assistance. When you make the introduction, explain what your role and responsibilities are and why others should come to you when they need assistance with something in your realm of expertise. Once you’ve build yourself up as an authority in one particular area, people will start establish influence at a new jobseeking you out for assistance even in areas outside of your job description. The goal is to be in demand because of how good you are at whatever you do.

2. Make friends in high places

Seek out people who are well respected in your new organization This person could be your direct superior, a project manager or others who are well respected regardless of their position or length of service. Arrange time to chat, and let them know that you’d love to have their advice as you acclimate to your new position. Having an influential person in a mentorship or coaching role will help you to build your skills and influence. Start with your new boss; it’s always a good idea to find ways to help them meet or exceed their goals.

3. Really listen to coworkers

Get to know your coworkers and their goals, challenges, and responsibilities. Find ways to help them be successful. Go out of your way to help them when they need assistance. You can only build influence if you have the admiration and respect of the people that you work with. But remember: this isn’t about building paybacks due to you; it’s about being seen as an invaluable resource.

4. Invest constantly in your most important product – YOU

Work each day on improving your skills in these critical areas.

  • Core business, administrative and time management skills
  • Technical skills required of your current position and desired future positions
  • Interpersonal and communications skills

All three areas are critical to your success. Study, practice, ask for help, and improve every day. Let others will see how dedicated you are to mastering your number one product – YOU!

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.”