Protecting your charity from fraud
Unfortunately, the last 18 months has seen an increase in fraud despite the pandemic and lockdown and the charity sector is not immune! Changing work environments and stress can make charities more vulnerable. The Charity Commission has issued eight guiding principles for tackling charity fraud. The key points are that fraud will always happen, prevention is a far better cure and reporting of fraud to the relevant bodies is crucial. The Charity Commission has also issued guidance:‘’ Protect your charity from fraud and cyber-crime”.
What you can do to protect your charity:
- Review your policies especially those relating to finance. Are they up to date and fit for purposes, are all policies being adhered to? Some may have slipped during lockdown and need to be reintroduced.
- Train staff and trustees on what fraud means and how this impacts the charity. Discuss the key signs especially with cyber fraud.
- Have good internal reporting mechanisms and enable people to voice concerns. Any attempted or actual fraud should be reported to Action Fraud. Fraud instances should also be reported to the Charity Commission, there is guidance on their website on how to report.
- Ensure recruitment processes are robust. Unfortunately, fraud is often committed internally.
- Run process checks and observe jobs in action.
- Conduct an annual fraud risk review.
Fraud is now part of our everyday life, however we all need to put in place as many obstacles as we can to stop our charities becoming the victims.
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