As we continue to share what we learned from our Special Investigative Unit (SIU) counterparts, we will dive deeper into the subject of resources, which I mentioned in last week’s post. Resources are an essential component to helping us meet goals. It is interesting how they are thrown at some programs and initiatives with reckless disregard while other programs receive only minimal resources. It is likely we have all seen this at various points in our careers and wondered why our program or initiative wasn’t getting the attention it deserved.
Like SIU departments, we are in the business of fighting fraud. And we are all pushing for more resources—from increasing our team size to investing in new software to detect fraud. The allocation of resources to various departments, divisions, or segments requires a balancing act within almost every organization. Here are some ways to help you get the resources you need.
- Measurement is the first step. Almost every SIU department measures its effectiveness, which is unusual. More organizations should start measuring the effectiveness of fraud fighting efforts. It is easier to plead for additional resources if you show the value provided.
- Culture is critical. SIU departments often engage people outside the department to help fight fraud. SIU team members provide training and coaching to others about the risk of fraud, red flags of fraud, and best practices for responding to it. Again, this is a rarity when compared to most public companies, private businesses, governmental entities, and non-profits. Most organizations try to push fraud fighting responsibilities to the outside auditors, internal auditors, or compliance departments. Organizations should engage everyone in the fight through focused discussions, training, and reward programs.
- Technology can stretch limited resources. This is an area that SIUs and other organizations can leverage in the future to enhance fraud fighting efforts. By embracing technology, consider the ways automation can replace detailed, mundane tasks, which frees up resources that can be used to provide higher-level, value-added services such as giving you time to invest in anticipating the next fraud scheme or sharing insights on how to proactively prevent fraud rather than merely reactively investigating it.
These three ways are easy to identify and comprehend, but we understand that each of them comes with unique challenges depending on your organization. Even with buy-in, resources aren’t always provided quickly enough, in the form we would like, or in the quantity requested. Over the next few weeks, we will continue to dissect how SIUs fight fraud and what we can learn from them.
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