FLORENCE, SC. (November 14, 2012) — WebsterRogers is pleased to announce that it will be participating in International Fraud Awareness Week, November 11-17, 2012 as an official supporter to promote anti-fraud awareness and education.

Organizations around the world lose an estimated 5 percent of their annual revenues to fraud, according to a study conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).  Companies with less than 500 employees, small businesses in particular, are especially susceptible to employee fraud as they often lack the anti-fraud controls or policies found in larger organizations.

As an official supporter of the movement (also known as “Fraud Week”), WebsterRogers joins hundreds of organizations who have partnered with the ACFE, the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education, in a commitment to proactively fight fraud and help safeguard business and investments from this growing problem.

In its 2012 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud & Abuse, the ACFE found that:

  • Fraud schemes are extremely costly. The median loss caused by the occupational fraud cases in the ACFE study was $140,000. More than one-fifth of the frauds involved losses of at least $1 million.
  • Schemes can continue for months or even years before they are detected. The frauds in the study lasted a median of 18 months before being caught.
  • Occupational fraud is a global problem. Though some findings differ slightly from region to region, most of the trends in fraud schemes, perpetrator characteristics and anti-fraud controls are similar regardless of where the fraud occurred.
  • Small businesses are especially vulnerable to occupational fraud. These organizations are typically lacking in anti-fraud controls compared to their larger counterparts, which makes them particularly vulnerable to fraud. 
  • Tips are the key in detecting fraud. Occupational frauds are much more likely to be detected by a tip than by any other means. This finding reinforces the need for promoting awareness to foster an informed workforce.

WebsterRogers is urging businesses to take steps to minimize the impact of fraud by evaluating and improving their employee screening process.

  • Many small companies seldom perform background checks on new employees, potentially inviting hackers, predators and even convicted felons into the organization.  Conduct a thorough background check that goes back over the past seven years on all potential employees prior to hire.
  • With a signed release, check their credit report for any fiscal irresponsibility.  During an economic crisis it’s ok to have some financial stresses but you wouldn’t want your controller or bookkeeper to be filing for bankruptcy.
  • Once the employee is being considered for hire, review their social networks for any items damaging to reputation, especially any past animosity toward their former employer

Further, the professionals of WebsterRogers recommend that organizations institute anti-fraud controls to monitor all employee activity including:

  • Internal and external audits
  • Management reviews and independent audit committees
  • Fraud training for management and employees
  • Mandatory vacation and job rotation
  • Hotline/tip line and rewards for whistleblowers

Fraud detection and prevention should be an ongoing initiative and International Fraud Awareness Week offers a great opportunity for businesses to become aware and develop and review policies and controls to fight fraud and safeguard their livelihood from this continually growing problem. 

About the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
The ACFE is the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education. Together with nearly 65,000 members in over 150 countries, the ACFE is reducing the incidence of fraud and providing the training and resources to fight fraud more effectively. For more information about the ACFE, visit www.ACFE.com.

About WebsterRogers LLP
WebsterRogers LLP is a leading South Carolina-based accounting and consulting firm that provides a broad spectrum of assurance, tax and advisory services to our clients. Founded in 1984 on the principles of quality, integrity and dedication to client service, our success is directly related to our strong commitment to our people and our clients.  WebsterRogers offers the degree of personal attention, responsiveness and accessibility our clients expect and deserve—coupled with knowledge and expertise that can satisfy their needs.

WebsterRogers has a total staff of over 130, including 19 partners, serving a variety of industries and individuals from 8 offices across the state of South Carolina.  For more information, visit www.websterrogers.com.