Why you should take the ACFE Fraud Prevention Check-Up

The ACFE developed the Fraud Prevention Check-Up several years ago as an affordable, easy-to-use way to identify gaps in your organization's fraud prevention processes. But this "evergreen" publication will never lose its value. By identifying risks early, you have a chance to fix problems before losing money and becoming a victim of fraud.

Strong fraud prevention processes bolster the confidence investors, regulators, audit committee members and the general public have in the integrity of your organization’s reports, which will help you attract and retain capital.

Benefits of taking the ACFE Fraud Prevention Check-Up

Because fraud can be a catastrophic risk, taking the ACFE Fraud Prevention Check-Up can save your company from disaster. If you don't proactively identify and manage your fraud risks, they could put you out of business almost overnight. Even if you survive a major fraud, it can damage your reputation so badly that you can no longer succeed independently.

The ACFE Fraud Prevention Check-Up can pinpoint opportunities to save you money. Fraud is an expensive drain on a company's financial resources. In today's globally competitive environment, no one can afford to throw away the five percent of revenues that represents the largely hidden cost of fraud.

Those organizations that have identified their most significant fraud costs (such as insurance and credit card companies) have made great strides in attacking and reducing those costs. If your organization isn't identifying and tackling its fraud costs, it's vulnerable to competitors who lower their costs by doing so.

Fraud is now so common that its occurrence is no longer remarkable, only its scale. Any organization that fails to protect itself appropriately faces increased vulnerability to fraud.

It's the least expensive way to find out your company's vulnerability to fraud. Most organizations score very poorly in initial fraud prevention check-ups because they don't have appropriate anti-fraud controls in place. By finding this out early, they have a chance to fix problems before becoming victims of major frauds. It's like finding out you have seriously high blood pressure. It may be bad news, but not finding out can be a lot worse.

Before you take the ACFE Fraud Prevention Check-Up

Let your organization's general counsel or outside legal counsel know you plan to take the test. They might want to have you use the test under their direction, to protect your legal rights.

Don't take the check-up if you plan to ignore the results. If it shows you have poor fraud prevention processes, you need to fix them. Failing to act could cause legal problems.

Who should perform the ACFE Fraud Prevention Check-Up?

The check-up should ideally be a collaboration among objective, independent fraud specialists, such as CFEs, and people within the organization who have extensive knowledge about its operations. The perspective of an independent and objective outsider is also important, as is the deep knowledge and experience of fraud that full-time fraud specialists provide.

It's helpful to interview senior members of management as part of the evaluation process. But it's also valuable to interview employees at other levels of the organization because they might provide a "reality check" that challenges the rosier view management might present, e.g., about management's commitment to ethical business practices.

Click here to download a copy of the ACFE Fraud Prevention Check-Up