Charity Fraud Awareness Week – Let Us Show You How
As we confirmed yesterday this week we are supporting Charity Fraud Awareness Week by sharing great advice and resources provided by organisations such as the Fraud Advisory Panel and the Charity Commission we are running our ‘Let us show you how’ campaign each day this week.
What does this mean?
Each day there will be great content and resources with some great advice – we are going to ‘show you how’ to convert that in to practical action that does not require any prior knowledge of managing fraud risks. We will ‘show you how’ you can integrate effective fraud risk management into your other risk management processes, compliance programs and operational procedures.
Each day we will provide a 5 minute digest to prompt discussion and challenge organisations to identify an action they are going to take to move things forward. By the end of the week you will therefore have 5 practical things you have pledged to do. If you choose to share those with us we can also send you a reminder each quarter to check how you are getting on.
Day 3 focus is Legacy and Fundraising Fraud
There is some more great guidance provided by the Charity Commission and Fraud Advisory Panel including checklists and e-learning. As with our previous posts we are not going to simply repeat those, but instead add our own perspective, provide practical resources and seek inspiration from other sectors. Our perspective is based on our years of experience in financial investigation, asset tracing and valuation.
Our Top Tips
- For Legacy Fraud one of the key risks identified is deliberate mis-statement of the value of assets or concealment of assets. It can be particularly challenging to verify the value of non-liquid assets such as property, or shares in a Private Limited Company or assets held within other corporate structures and trusts. This is also true when trying to value someone’s interest in a partly owned asset. For property it is possible to get an idea of the value through data held by Land Registry in the UK. An easy to use Land Registry online reporting tool enables you to quickly get an idea of average prices based on actual property sales for a particular postcode. Although these will not provide a definitive value it will provide a range from which a judgement can be made. The Halifax House Price Index and the Nationwide House Price Index also provide useful data. All of these data sources are free.
- Determining the value of an estate can be complex but the government website has guidance available. Although not all that guidance will be relevant to charities it can provide useful checklist and training resource.
- It is important that charities have a plan for how they will investigate cases of suspected Legacy and Fundraising fraud. Our resource centre has an example Fraud Response Plan that can be edited and adapted to meet your specific needs.
- It will not always be appropriate to prosecute individual cases of fraud and it is important that the Fraud Response plan sets out the charities approach to using a range of sanctions which should include civil recovery. Our resource centre contains additional guidance on achieving clear and consistent sanctions and recovering losses. This is important because evidence suggests it is not the severity of the sanction that acts as a deterrent but the certainty that a sanction will be applied.
- A complete Fraud Risk Assessment should be undertaken to consider all risks across the business. This might then identify a number of different frauds where the same control is relevant making it a key control which you would then want to test periodically to make sure it is operating effectively. It will also be appropriate to consider all risks from a particular end to end process rather than focusing on particular fraud risks. For example Fundraising frauds and Legacy Frauds are both Accounts Receivable processes. It may be better to look at that end to end Accounts Receivable process rather than the individual fraud types. Our resource centre has further guidance and tools to show you how to undertake a fraud risk assessment and how to fraud proof policies and procedures.
How do I get more ‘Let Us Show You How’ information?
There a 3 easy ways:
- We will be posting updates on our website during fraud awareness week so simply visit our news feed each day, or
- Follow us on the usual social media platforms using the buttons at the top of the page, or
- Subscribe to our special mailing list using the contact form below and we will deliver the content direct to your mailbox each day.
Each day we also said we would challenge organisations to identify an action they are going to take to move things forward. By the end of the week you will therefore have 5 practical things you have pledged to do. If you choose to share those with us we can also send you a reminder each quarter to check how you are getting on. So what will you choose – one of the actions identified by the Charity Commission or perhaps check out a house price index link above, or agree a fraud response plan? The choice is yours….!
We will be liking and retweeting other posts so please join us in keeping #charityfraudout.
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