“An ethics reporting system… what a great idea!”
On Wednesday, October 28, we set up our booth space at the Vancouver Board of Trade Show. Once attendees started to arrive, we got into some great conversations around ethics reporting.
A few people came by, asking who we were. We excitedly explained what we do: provide 24/7/365 anonymous employee ethics reporting and case management solutions, where employees can come forward and voice their concerns confidentially. And management can investigate these concerns while communicating anonymously back and forth with the reporter, digging deeper into the issue, while ensuring the employee feels safe.
A number of people said, “wow what a great idea, I’ve never really heard of that!” Not too surprising for the smaller businesses. An anonymous ethics reporting system isn’t necessarily on the minds of the smaller business operators. Their energies tend to be focused elsewhere, mainly on day-to-day operations.
But smaller operators have very good reason to seriously consider incorporating a customized-to-size program into their operations. Limited financial and human resources at many small businesses make them quite susceptible to fraud as they often lack the means to implement sophisticated anti-fraud controls. That makes the fraud aftermath quite devastating. Small businesses, typically 100 or less employees, don’t have the same cash flow to cover fraud losses, legal fees, and violations.
Fraud costs small business a median loss of $155,000, according to the ACFE. It’s just too much for most small businesses to handle.
We also had a great conversation with someone who’s partner comes home most days to regale stories of the daily misconduct happening at their place of employment. This particular person obviously feels the effects of working in an environment where bad behaviour and wrongdoing either get swept under the rug, or management quite simply knows nothing about.
This type of behaviour can really bring down the moral of employees and their desire to do good work and help their employer succeed. If employees go home every night with stories of the latest fraud, or bullying, or substance abuse occurrences that happened that day, this should be a huge wake-up call for that company. This is exactly a prime example of why this company needs to implement a third-party ethics reporting and case management system. If it’s really serious about its reputation, and the well-being of it employees, a small yearly subscription to a service provider is such a small investment to ensure a harmonious place of employment, not to mention the ability to halt fraud, or other wrongdoing in its tracks before it gets way out of hand!
Proactive measures catch fraud sooner and minimize losses. Frauds that are caught by reactive measures last longer and cause more harm. The longer a fraud lasts before it is detected, the more the victim organization loses. (ACFE)
Organizations with hotlines were much more likely to catch fraud by a tip. The most effective way to protect your workplace from fraud and other misconduct is through active reporting and review systems. Companies that have an active monitoring program have significantly fewer losses, and are able to catch the crime earlier.
Download an eBook highlighting many reasons business need to implement a whistleblower program.