3 Liabilities in Dishonesty Interviews

interview

Interviewing is often viewed as a process that only entails a bit of common sense; however, in the case of potential dishonesty, conducting an interview becomes a complicated process.

Whether you’re trying to gather some crucial information for a case’s resolution, limiting your list of suspects by process of elimination, or wanting to get an admission of fault from responsible parties; knowing how to conduct an interview professionally can save your company from ugly consequences such as low employee morale, possibly terminating the wrong person, or being faced with a wrongful termination suit.

Remember that an interview which seeks to get answers is a conversation with a purpose. Untrained or inexperienced interviewers who have no inkling on how to direct a conversation can complicate an incident and create more problems for your organization.

Below are the 3 liabilities for dishonesty interviews and how you can use them for finding a solution in cases of possible fraud.

Resolution

The main purpose of conducting dishonesty interviews is to get an admission from the individual(s) who’s responsible for the reason why there has to be an interview in the first place. This is where the significance of professionally directing the conversation truly comes into play, but how?

Using the wrong terms such as introducing the word ‘steal’ can make the interviewee clam up or give you inaccurate details, thereby resulting to sending back the dishonest individual to his or her position where that person can continue to create losses. Another thing of note is that by not being able to identify who the dishonest person is via interview, that individual now possesses a knowledge of how your fraud investigation process works, making him or her more adept on how to avoid getting caught later.

It goes without saying that obtaining an admission via interview won’t be possible every single time, but if the interview was handled by someone who knows how to direct the conversation towards getting answers, then you’ll be effectively limiting future possible losses to fraud.

Accusation

One wrong move can mean either a lawsuit or sabotaging the interview so an experienced interviewer knows how and when to present an accusation. It can also create an unpleasant work environment when made against an innocent person.

There are a few instances when making a direct accusation is the way to go. An example would be if you have a video footage showing the individual in question in the act of committing the fraud. In this scenario, making an accusation will save up time and would hasten the process towards a resolution. The errant individual can then choose to simply own up to what he or she did or to continue lying – in which case you’ll have a strong evidence of dishonesty and fraud against the individual.

Never make an accusation out of frustration or out of anger. This would only result to the company and the interviewer facing a lawsuit and hindering the resolution of the predicament at hand.

Morale

Never forget that an interviewer can singlehandedly destroy a whole company’s morale. If an interview is handled incorrectly, everyone who was called to be a part of it can feel that they’ve been accused. The last thing you’d want to do is to alienate possible witnesses or to create more problems for your company.

Keep in mind that a professional dishonesty interview is geared towards taking the rotten apple(s) out of your barrel. You certainly won’t want to damage a whole barrel or place your organization in hot water for just one questionable individual.

Need someone to conduct dishonesty interviews the professional way? Then contact us and learn more about how we can help you with corporate investigations and fraud management.

Theft Prevention by Inventory Management

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Inventory accuracy is perhaps one of the most important safeguards any business owner can have against theft if the business deals with any form of physical goods. How so? Well, when you think of it, customer retention, profitability, and operational productivity are all made possible by a reliable inventory system!

In this day and age, no matter whether you are still relying on manually recorded inventory cards, or have a fully computerized system, or perhaps have a combination of the two…the benefits of inventory accuracy cannot be discounted. Just take a look at the benefits below and think of what a good inventory management can do for your business.

The Benefits of Proper Inventory Management

  1. An accurate record reduces stock-outs by helping you to make the right replenishment decisions.
  2. You and your sales reps will know for sure that what product you promised to send out will be sent out on time and be received on time.
  3. You will save time and your distribution centre will be more productive because you don’t have to waste any effort searching for missing or mistakenly recorded goods.
  4. You will have more cash for opportunistic purchases, capital improvements, and investments because your assets are not tied up in unnecessary inventory.
  5. Last but certainly not the least, a properly managed inventory in your business or warehouse is proven to reduce employee theft!

Wait, how does that work?

When you have everything recorded and in black and white, your employees cannot just take or steal items out of storage without it going by unnoticed. When everything is accounted for, there is less risk of employees committing white collar crime because they know that the likelihood of being found out is quite high.

So how do you go about this?

The When, What, and Where of Cycle Counting

Basically, cycle counting is just a form of inventory management that follows a regular schedule. Here are what you should consider when planning a cycle counting program:

  • WHEN – the best benefit you can get from cycle counting results from how often you do it. The more often or more frequent you take a record of everything, the easier it is to spot discrepancies.
  • WHAT – you do have to prioritize what to count or what to keep tabs on because you cannot track everything at the same time. More often than not, the most frequently stolen items are those that are small enough to fit in a pocket and have a high street value.
  • WHERE – items that are stored in less accessible areas and easily accessible areas of your office or warehouse is more likely to go missing. Why? If no one’s watching, thieves are more likely to go about their business.

Now, by no means are we saying that cycle counting is all you’ll need to prevent theft, but it is certainly one of the best tools you can use to reduce your organization’s vulnerability to thieving. With this said, it is still important to not let your guard down and not to underestimate a thief’s determination to commit fraud or steal from you. Other measures, such as doing background checks on potential new hires and employing other risk management solutions are still advisable.

Need professional help to safeguard your business from thieves and various forms of fraud? Then contact the best private investigators in Toronto! Contact us so we can determine what you need and talk about how we can help you.

Could Your Company Be a Victim to Anti-Corruption Compliance Program Tunnel Vision?

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These days, companies from all types of industries are coming up with their own anti-corruption compliance programs; but how do we know when an anti-corruption compliance program actually works as it is supposed to?

Your company’s anti-corruption compliance program can be overly complex, can somewhat be needing some more work, or perhaps it is just the right balance; one thing is for sure though, success can’t be guaranteed by having an effective program alone.

How so?

Fraudsters will find a way to circumvent an effective program and will do everything to avoid detection – to the point of paying bribes. This is where embracing an anti-corruption compliance program comes into play, but then, it is also vulnerable to a host of problems.

One such problem is when the leaders of the organization develops tunnel vision and thus relies so heavily on the program that they forget all about continued risk mitigation and exercising vigilance. When this happens, the organization is left vulnerable to fraudulent activities.

So what are the red flags that your organization may be suffering from tunnel vision as far as an anti-corruption compliance program is concerned? We’ve got that covered below:

Lack of Follow Through by Senior Leadership and CEO

Just having a program isn’t enough when the leadership does not understand how the program is supposed to work and what it takes to make it work. The absence of senior management commitment and ownership will render the program ineffective.

Business Managers Have Not Embraced Compliance

The best way to gauge a company’s commitment to compliance (on everything, and not just anti-corruption) is to see if the business managers are doing their part in ensuring compliance with anti-corruption laws and policies. This is especially true in sales. Business managers who do not monitor employee activities and don’t care to remind everyone of the policies are basically not taking any accountability for whatever happens with the program.

Disconnection Between Financial Controls and Anti-Corruption Compliance

Any potential unauthorized usage of funds should be monitored by CCOs, managers, and financial officers. Failing to do so by not having proper coordination of the anti-corruption compliance and financial controls can result to corrupt actions such as the company officials bribing government employees to gain favours or special treatment. Simply put, inadequate connection between financial controls and anti-corruption compliance can mean giving access to some funds to be used for bribery.

Lacking Due Diligence Process

If the due diligence program is not as it is supposed to be, it will be ignoring mitigation strategies and careful risk-based analyses. For instance, if the employees have no understanding of red flags and other possible signs of corruption, then there is no way they can report if they witness it occurring in the organization.

Having a Program for Reimbursement and Hospitality Expense

There is no real problem with simply having a reimbursement and hospitality expense program IF it requires pre-approval, has annual limits, and collects data of all interactions and meetings with recipients. Lacking these things can mean serious bribery risks.

Want to be on top of fraud prevention and detection in your organization? Then you might need the services of the top Private Investigators in Toronto! Contact us and find out more about how we can help you!

Must Haves of an Effective Whistle-Blower Program

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What makes an effective whistle-blower program effective? How does it help with curtailing organizational fraud? Are you aware that more than 40% of all cases of fraud has been detected with a tip from a whistle-blower?

The above are just some of the main reasons why you need to have an effective whistle-blower program. A program like that is one of the best weapons against fraud which any organization can have; but what makes a fraud-reporting mechanism effective? What encourages a person to speak up despite fears of possible retribution or possible loss of friendship and relationships?

What you need are things which can help overcome the barriers described above.

Think it can’t be done?

The following are great incentives for possible whistle-blowers. Make sure you have one or all, and you’ll surely find the perfect combination which will work best with your organization!

So here’s the 5 Must Haves of an Effective Whistle Blower Program:

It Must Be Easy

One of the most crucial factors for under reporting of fraud is because people are not aware of what channels to use to report it. It should always be free and confidential.

A great way would be to have a hotline number which all workers are made aware of (such as during the company orientation or included as a note in the company manual). For organizations which are in areas of the world where 2 or more main languages are used, it would be best to publish the fraud-reporting information in various languages.

It Must be Rewarding

We’re not just talking of monetary gain here, but if a whistle-blower’s work or means of income will be affected by him or her reporting the fraud, there should be an appropriate compensation to cover the loss.

It Must Protect the Whistle-Blower’s Identity

This is perhaps the most important single factor for this type of program. Reporting fraud can endanger the person involved and so, a typical ‘snitch’ would want to stay anonymous for his or her own safety.

Oftentimes, work-related repercussions can also result from being tagged as a whistle-blower. It is not uncommon to hear of companies which refuse to hire known ‘snitches’ for issues such as the stigma attached to it.

It Must Have Consistent Protocols

Everyone who is a part of the organization should have equal access to information regarding means of reporting fraud. There should be clear guidelines as well as consistency. This could mean that you may need to appoint someone as a fraud prevention manager or leader.

It Must Have Recording and Tracking Processes

Recording and tracking of data is highly important in cases of fraud more so if the incidence is something which may involve legal authorities. The evidences, the progress of each case, as well as all relevant data should be a part of the records for future reference.

Receiving a report for fraud is quite tricky. You’ll have ensure to avoid malicious false reports by checking the veracity of whatever is reported to ensure that only real reports are recognized. You should also have a laid-out plan for responding as well as know the steps needed to protect the whistle-blower and cull the perpetrator.

Do your part to help stop organizational fraud and stop thinking that fraud can’t happen to you. There’s quite a few risk management solutions you should be doing and one of them is all about taking the first step by making sure that you are encouraging potential whistle-blowers to report. A great private investigator team can help you in uncovering cases of fraud and unearth the truth for tough cases. Contact us and we’ll walk you through everything.

Risk Management Solutions You Should Be Doing

risk-management

A lot of business owners tend to not have a clue about minimizing the possibility of fraud within their company or organization. That’s too bad, but we’re telling you that it’s time to make a change about that and it can be easy!

You see, by knowing what kind of risks your organization is facing, you’ll have a better chance of mitigating it. It will also give you more chances to increase revenue and reduce losses. Sounds good? Then read along below!

Here’s what you got to do…

First, You Need to Have a Risk Management Plan

A plan helps you keep focused and ensures that you’ll have something to hold yourself to. Studies indicate that a clearly laid out plan increased the possibility of success by a very significant percentage, so get your board together and prepare to talk this out with your team!

Next, You Have to Improve Your Plan

How so? Well, set the tone at the top.

You and your team of managers have the power to set what kind of culture you’ll have in your enterprise. How you act and behave shapes the behaviour and action of your people.

What we mean is, you can’t expect your people to play nicely if you’re a known fraudster, more so if they’ve witnessed you or your managers committing some very questionable things. Lead by example and you’ll see people will follow.

Then, Understand and Use the Fraud Triangle

What? What is this thing?

The Fraud Triangle describes the 3 main factors which has to be present for fraud to occur. Developed by Donald Cressey, it says that there has to be a person who’ll commit the fraud, reason or rationalization for doing so, and opportunities to commit it.

Okay, it’s not anything new, but what we can get from this is most frauds occur because of the availability of opportunity – that’s what we are trying to take out of the equation.

Smash Down the Silos

Independent parts of a company makes it easier to hide things and do things under the table. Break it and you’ll have less opportunities present for fraudsters to trick you.

Incorporate Risk Management in Your Business Processes

Risk management requires frequent and regular visits, just like tending a garden. There has to be checks on HR liabilities and compliance, 3rd party relationships, financial controls, and insurance. This works best when done at every level of your business and is integrated as a part of company culture.

Don’t Forget to Have Management Review of Your Process!

Make sure that there is nearly no oversight by reviewing the risk management process itself on a regular basis. Effective controls are only effective when done right, thereby you have to make sure that the measures you have in place are still appropriate.

And Lastly, Take Care of The Whistleblower

Hey, if someone reported the fraud to you, protect and help that person. Do not let him or her be the fall guy. Let him or her remain anonymous whilst you find out what’s going on or if there really is white-collar fraud being committed under your nose.

Remember, you wouldn’t have known there was anything fishy going on if not for the whistleblower. Make sure that potential and existing whistleblowers are given a safe and healthy way to let you know what’s going on. After all, we’ll need their help in conducting private investigation of the matter at hand.

Want more tips and tricks in identifying organizational fraud and screening new hires? Then follow this blog for the latest tidbits on and tips from the leading private investigator in Toronto! Questions are welcome, all you have to do is contact us and we’ll figure out what to do next.

Background Checks on Potential New Hires

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Making the right hiring decisions is critical to any organization, regardless of size. But getting it right isn’t easy.
We all know the negative consequences of making the wrong hire – it can lower your organizations overall morale, hinder productivity, and even impact customer relations. But did you know that the cost of replacing an experienced worker who doesn’t work out can cost 50 percent or more of that individual’s salary, and these costs go up if the employee has specialized skills.
There are many things you can do to ensure you make informed decisions and hire quality employees and one of them is to conduct thorough background checks.
A pre-employment background check can not only save you money in the long run, it can also protect your business. How? If your employees come into direct contact with your customers (for example, in a care capacity) and it is learned they caused harm to a customer, your business can become liable. A background check can also provide insight into an individual’s behaviour, character, and integrity.

Many Private Investigation Agencies will offer complete background checks while helping you stay compliant with the law. However, like any industry there are the good ones and the ones to be careful of. When sourcing out your background checks to a 3rd party like a Private Investigation Agency always ensure the agency has qualified individuals that can conduct such searches for you. Visit them at their office(s) to get a feel you are dealing with a reputable team. Ask to see their agency licence which should be visibly displayed within their office. Ask to see and confirm they have the proper insurance to conduct the work for you. Make sure if it is a private Investigation agency you are sourcing to that they are licensed as an agency through the Ministry of Safety and Correctional Services. Today many individuals selling the services are just licenced Private Investigators. They need to be working for an agency to sell such services. If you are unsure contact the Ministry of Safety and Correctional Services Private Security and Investigations Services branch @ 1-866-767-7454.

Please Note: It is strongly recommended that you and your team always consult first with a lawyer prior to engaging and conducting background check programs within your respected organizations

Haywood Hunt and Associates Inc. has a team of specialized investigators that can support your organization with conducting a thorough background check. We are a fully licensed bonded and insured Private Investigation Agency. Contact our office to learn more.