Fraud EDge

Adding anti-fraud training to your curricula

Sandra Damijan, Ph.D., CFE, is the new Fraud EDge columnist. She’s a lecturer and the program coordinator of the Corporate Integrity Academy at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and the co-chair of the ACFE Higher Education Advisory Committee. — ed.

We’ve increasingly seen the rise of ambiguity, political instability and nationalistic agendas of populist parties across many countries worldwide. Together with the economic slowdown of 2008, these factors continue to pose challenges for businesses operating in such uncertain environments to meet their ambitious goals. Organizations often choose alternative methods of doing business even when this means walking a thin line between what’s ethically questionable, shady or outright illegal.

According to the 2016 ACFE Report to the Nations, the cost of fraud is staggering. The median loss from a single occupational fraud for an organization is $150,000. Financial statement fraud causes by far the greatest median loss per scheme.

A 2017 EY study shows relaxed attitudes toward unethical behavior and a tendency to treat fraudulent activity as acceptable norms in workforces — particularly among younger generations. (See the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa Survey 2017.) The study also reports that 73 percent of respondents from younger generations justify unethical actions, and one in four justify bribe payments to win or retain business compared to one in 10 aged above 40. Sure, “they grew up in a time of insecurity, with 9-11 and banks cheating people,” as cultural analyst Donna Sabino of IpsosOTX MediaCT says. (See Why Millennials Are Spending More Than They Earn, And Parents Are Footing The Bill, by Larissa Faw, May 18, 2012, Forbes.)

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