Sleeping companies lose big from employee, executive fraud

Antone Gonsalves

Therefore, companies can significantly reduce losses by setting up a hotline and then educating employees on the kind of activity considered fraudulent to eliminate any grey areas.

Only about half of the companies in the study had hotlines.

"It's crazy," Warren said of the low percentage. "The data is clear that tips are the best way to catch fraud and hotlines aren't that expensive."

Another effective method in reducing fraud is data monitoring. Having computer systems in place that flag unusual transactions can reduce losses by 60 percent and increase detection by 50 percent, when compared to companies that don't use data monitoring, Warren said.

The key takeaway from the study is companies that keep a watchful eye will suffer fewer losses. Those who act only after being told by a supplier, law enforcement or some other third-party are likely to lose big.

"If you wait to hear about it, the money is out the door and you're going to have a lot bigger hit than you would have had if you were paying attention upfront," Warren said.

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