#CharityFraudOut: 5 Top Tips to Prevent Fraud

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Charity Fraud Awareness Week is back! This week-long campaign runs between 22nd and 26th October and promotes openness and honesty about fraud. It brings together everyone involved in the charity and not-for-profit sectors to raise awareness and share good practice in tackling fraud and financial crime.

CaSE Insurance is committed to supporting risk management in the charity, non-profit and faith sectors through providing relevant and straightforward information and advice. We’re taking this opportunity to collate all our risk management resources on fraud and summarise them in to our 5 Top Tips to Prevent Fraud.

1. Ethical behaviour

This is key to combating fraud. Ensure leaders act appropriately and diligently, setting a good example for staff and volunteers; staff should feel free to report concerns and whistle-blowers should be protected.

2. Controls

Segregate financial duties to ensure there is no ‘monopoly’ on financial control. When stored electronically, access to sensitive files should be restricted to relevant staff only. Monitor employees for abuse of IT systems. Cash cheques and cash immediately; require at least two signatures on outgoing cheques and enter details of cash payments into a petty cash book.

3. Records

Keep thorough records of income and expenditure and do not ignore any source and schedule regular checks to ensure income records and bank accounts agree.

4. Policy and procedure

Ensure your anti-fraud strategy, policies and procedures are recorded, distributed and understood by all staff and regular refresher training is undertaken. You should also make clear the repercussions of involvement in fraud. You should also have whistle-blowing procedures or a means for the reporting of concerns.

5. Risk Assessment

Fraud will likely feature on your risk register and risk assessments. You can investigate further by mapping out income and expenditure routes to identify areas where fraud, theft of corruption could occur. Follow the risk assessment process and consider the impact each risk could have and how to reduce or remove the risk.