Globalization, increased transparency of business activity, pervasive media coverage, and the growing complexity of business and business relationships have increased the ethics and compliance risks for organizations. There is greater likelihood of wrongdoing being exposed by the media, watchdog groups or government agencies or through a firm's internal systems. Illegal or unethical acts can be done intentionally by people of bad character or unintentionally by people who made decisions without full knowledge of what they were doing. The damage to a firm's reputation and the huge costs associated with fines and litigation can destroy a company. Therefore, managing for legal and ethical excellence has emerged as a critical as well as morally imperative function for all organizations.
Fraud is the intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right. In the business community, the ultimate goal of fraud is to gain money. There are numerous frauds within the business world.
Fraud: Corporate fraud, employee theft, insurance scams/workers compensation fraud, employer fraud, forgery/falsified documents and even money laundering. Nobody likes to think it’s happening in their company, and yet global fraud studies by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) estimate a median of 5% of revenue is lost every year due to fraud. While the ACFE found that both large and small organizations fall victim to occupational and workplace fraud, employee theft and financial fraud are especially detrimental to businesses with less than 100 employees.
Do your customers trust and believe in your company? Do you trust and believe your employees? Do your employees trust and believe in you?
In November 2012, the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the enforcement division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) jointly released A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“the Guide”). While the 130-page guide is packed with useful information and written in an approachable style free from legalese, it provides perhaps its best and most useful information beginning on page 57 in the section titled, “Hallmarks of an Effective Compliance Program.” In the in introduction to this section, the authors note that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all compliance program, and that it is expected that small to midsize companies’ compliance programs will very likely differ from those in place at much larger organizations. They also point out that companies may consider a variety of factors in tailoring a compliance program to their specific organizations.
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