STORY INLINE POST
Companies today have a social commitment to proper corporate behavior. That’s the reason why compliance has become relevant in recent years. It means the establishment of policies and procedures to guarantee transparency and compliance with internal and external regulations.
An appropriate compliance allows, among many other benefits, the reduction of fraud within companies. According to the 2022 edition of Occupational Fraud: A Report to the Nations, made by the global organization Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, fraud perpetrated from within companies, originating in the different areas that comprise them, can reach losses up to US$117.000 on average per case.
The same report, which analyzes the scenario of documented fraud in 133 countries, points to a company’s purchasing department within the Top 3, in which corruption is the main pattern of documented cases with 82 percent, followed by the senior management areas with 65 percent and sales with 51 percent. This data can be correlated in Latin America with the fact that corruption is identified as the main fraud scheme in the region, totaling 59 percent of cases.
Among the main reasons that contribute to occupational fraud are the lack of internal control and the overriding of existing controls, both representing almost half of the cases. The numbers demonstrate the challenge that companies and compliance departments face today, along with those in charge of maintaining transparency, to improve procedures in processes, such as purchasing.
5 Tips to Prevent Occupational Fraud in Purchasing
The internal follow-up and the actions taken to prevent these cases in the future are crucial for business development. The report reveals that 81 percent of the companies modified their procedures accordingly. Among the most common changes made is the proactive monitoring of information, at 64 percent.
Although constant training, codes of conduct and management supervision have become key elements of compliance in companies, online technological solutions have positioned themselves as great allies during daily activities.
Companies today must find a balance between the human factor and technological development in the search for an adequate level of compliance. From my experience in the industry, here are five tips to make technology the best ally to maintain effective and transparent purchasing processes:
- Demystify digitalization in purchases. The first step is a change in mentality both in senior management and in the personnel who carry out the purchases on a day-to-day basis. Digitalization must be seen as an ally with all the advantages in efficiency and transparency that it offers.
- Maintain digital locks. One of the main advantages is that in digital processes, everything is recorded. The data leaves a mark that is difficult to erase or modify if you have the appropriate locks in place, in addition to the fact that information today is stored in the cloud.
- Constant training. The changes that occur thanks to technological advances and recurrent updates to programs require greater attention and a better prepared work team to get the most out of the tools, also reducing the possibility of fraud.
- Management engagement from anywhere. Today, digital information can be consulted from anywhere at any time. It opens the door to better internal audit processes and for management to monitor information and make better decisions.
- Report management. This represents a basic transparency tool. The best thing is that in many cases, the necessary adjustments can be made to receive reports that reflect the most useful information for decision-making.
Transparency is one of the most appreciated values today, not only by companies but also by their associates and clients. The use of technology along with good human capital practices is a great combination in building compliance in organizations.