Managing heightened fraud risk during COVID-19

Three key actions

We know times of crisis, economic hardship and significant organisational change create the ‘perfect storm’ and can test ethical practices.

We're working with organisations, who like you, are already seeing:

  • Wide-scale disruption to working practices, causing a material and sudden change to business as usual processes and controls. This creates opportunities for individuals to exploit.
  • An increase (or perceived future increase) in financial pressure on individuals, their families and communities, providing motivation for some to compromise their personal integrity.
  • Individuals’ ability to rationalise actions, where poor decision-making is heightened (“I will pay the money back when the economy improves”, “I need to do this to save jobs”, “this is a crisis”).

We're also seeing a surge in integrity related incidents along with increased disclosures made to clients’ whistle-blower services.

How can you manage the heightened fraud risk?

  1. A sensible and practical starting point is completing a (or refreshing an existing) fraud and corruption risk assessment with a COVID-19 lens. Be sure to target ‘new’ process and control landscapes, so that any weaknesses in controls are remedied as early as possible.
  2. Providing multiple options for your people to report concerns has never been more important, as face-to-face workplace contact changes (and falls away for many organisations). Now is a great time to remind personnel of integrity standards and the channels to report concerns.
  3. Initiate fraud detection focused analytics that targets your COVID-19 specific risk areas.

We're supporting risk teams right now. How can we help you?

We are already supporting clients with managing their COVID-19 specific risks and our national team of Forensic specialists continue to deliver our full range of Forensic advisory, investigation, discovery, analytics and disputes services to clients around the country.

For a confidential discussion, please reach out to any of our specialists.

The content of this article is accurate as at 17 April 2020, the time of publication. This article does not constitute advice; if you wish to understand the potential implications of current events for your business or organisation, please get in touch.

Alternatively, our COVID-19 webpages provide information about our services and provide contacts for relevant experts who can help you navigate this quickly evolving situation.

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