Preventing Fraud in the SA work place
Jan 30, 2014
Employing the right people doesn’t only make for a productive and healthy company, it also goes a long way in preventing larceny and fraud. Corporate South Africa is becoming more aware of the risks and dangers of corruption often lurking from inside its own ranks.
Regardless of the size of your company, managing security systems and removing people risk from business is a strategic imperative if you don’t want internal swindlers to cut into your bottom line.
“In fact, smaller companies are more susceptible to fraud because they often have poorer risk control systems,” says Jenny Reid, CEO of iFacts, an innovative South African company that takes care of corporate security and resolves to improve employee performance.
“We believe in preventing workplace fraud by promoting the ideal of employing the right personnel,” she says. “Moreover, we have the skills and experience to manage staff through our various programmes and services.”
Fraud comes in various guises, Reid goes on to say, from embezzlement and corruption, to creating fraudulent documents, theft and simple dishonesty. “Companies need to be on the lookout for unethical people who will find clever ways to steal,” she says. “They need to be aware of those employees who may be pushed over the line by financial or lifestyle pressure to commit fraud.”
Don’t wait until it’s too late
Often deep-seated and long-standing corruption is only revealed when an employee is caught red-handed, a syndicate is exposed or a staff member leaves the company.
“Our clients understand that they have to be pro-active,” Reid asserts. “Prevention is always better than cure; our services encompass a holistic approach to managing the workforce.”
Get the right people from the start—this is a credo iFacts lives by, stressing the importance of matching the right candidate to a company’s missions and value systems.
One of the most common trends in employee dishonesty starts before the employee even takes up a position at the company.
“Falsifying a work application or obtaining counterfeit certification to qualify for a position within a company means a serious breach of trust from the start,” she says. “Human Resource departments, we find, come to us for a legal, efficient and cost-effective screening solutions.”
The process involves reference enquiries, verification of qualifications, as well as credit and criminal history checks. iFacts believes that its important for companies to invest the time and resources to examine candidates and thus find trustworthy and honest staff.
“It is even more important to follow this process when that individual is going to be handling cash, working with suppliers or merchandise,” Reid adds. “Remember even the smallest incidents of theft or misuse of a company’s assets means a loss for a business.”
Transparency is key
Not only is employee screening an integral part of removing people risk in South African business, but so is a wider and more integrated security solution. iFacts has pioneered People Risk Database Systems.
“We have developed Fraud Prevention Databases where tenants, retailers, contractors, subcontractors and other stakeholders can share information to ensure there is no collusion,” states Reid.
The information gathered makes for an important central database. It can be used to mine information to prevent fraud and blow the whistle on perpetrators. It is not enough to dismiss an employee caught committing fraud, Reid believes, the crime must be reported to the police for investigation.
“As South African companies we are faced with corruption on a daily basis,” she goes on to say. “We have to create a zero tolerance policy that establishes clear rules for conduct and communicates the penalties for corruption.”
Furthermore, iFacts has programmes to ensure employers remain engaged with staff—including exit interviews, HR climate surveys and assisting with career planning.
“These have proved popular with our clients who wish to resolve conflicts with employees, make their companies better places to work for and attract the best talent,” she explains.
iFacts People Risk Services and Database Systems are just two ways this innovative company ensures its clients maintain true value from their operations.
“Fraud undermines your company on every level,” says Reid. “Employing the right people will help build in safeguards against corruption taking hold and spreading,” she concluded.
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