Fraud and corruption risk in business Mastercourse: Dr Stephen Hill is the managing director of snowdrop consulting, a company specialising in fraud risk management, prevention/awareness and data security. He is a trustee director of the ICAEW fraud advisory panel and chairs the cybercrime working group. Here, he explains what the course is about.

PositionWhat you learn on the ...

This one-day course will offer attendees a full understanding of the threats posed by various types of fraud, how to recognise where the threats may be and how to respond to them. It is aimed at financial staff, from book-keepers to finance directors and other managers in any organisation that could become a victim of fraud. As it affects business and government entities of all shapes and sizes, it makes prevention and detection everyone's business. Although the course is aimed at a broad level of understanding of the issues, the work involved takes it up to an advanced level in the latter stages of the day.

The key areas covered include:

* How to identify fraud.

* Recent developments in fraudulent practice.

* Practical risk assessment techniques.

* The Fraud Act 2006.

* How to respond to fraud.

* A police perspective on investigation and reporting.

We begin by looking at everyday tasks that could be targeted by fraudsters. Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud and internet crime reporting centre, recently ran a series of polls looking at fraud and exposure, and delegates will be questioned along the same lines, looking at areas such as online banking, mobile security and bank statement reconciliation. In order to give a sense of how destructive this kind of fraud is we consider figures from the National Fraud Authority (NFA), which says fraud costs the UK economy around [pounds sterling]73bn a year. We also explain that, according to the NFA's 2012 poll, a larger percentage of frauds now take place in the private sector, not the public sector, despite perceptions that welfare fraud, tax evasion and MPs' expenses are the most common type of offence. We also explain that it is not a "victimless" activity (with the bank reimbursing claimants) as the proceeds are often used to fund terrorism and other illegal activities.

We consider the "fraud triangle"--an academic model (Donald R. Cressey) that identifies three key areas when it comes to fraud: opportunity, pressure and rationalisation. Opportunity relates to possible exposure; for example, unencrypted USB sticks or a photocopier's internal memory, where sensitive documents have been copied and then become available to fraudsters or potential fraudsters to take advantage and commit associated crimes.

Pressure relates to the weak position individuals may find themselves in if they are financially challenged and need to remedy the situation. It means they might take advantage of circumstances...

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