Fraud 'at the forefront of business agendas'

Fraud remains one of the major concerns among businesses at the moment, according to a new report by Deloitte.

Data published by the analyst shows that 43 per cent of organisations believe their vulnerability to fraud risk has increased in the last year.

The report reveals that 98 per cent of companies are exercising a tough approach to fraud risk, while four in five currently have a documented fraud policy.

However, two-fifths of organisations are not yet carrying out regular fraud risk assessments, which are generally regarded as the quickest and most cost-effective way of identifying weaknesses and preventing fraud; an area in which management skills could no doubt be enhanced.

In the report, entitled Internal Audit Fraud Challenge: prevention, protection, detection, it was found that three-quarters of organisations believe economic uncertainty is generating board level discussion around enhancing fraud risk monitoring.

Meanwhile, two-thirds think economic uncertainty has extended the level of internal audit remit around fraud risk and six in ten state that changes in regulation and legislation are leading to an increased focus on fraud risk management.

Though the survey results suggest that there is "healthy debate" around fraud risk, there is still work to be done by firms to ensure fraud is kept to a minimum, said Michael Jones, partner in Deloitte's Enterprise Risk Services practice.

He added: "Failure to undertake fraud risk assessments on a regular basis will make it difficult for internal audit functions to determine how to effectively focus key and sometimes limited resources on the areas of highest risk."

Enhance your career with an Institute qualification.