Impacting On The Fraud Triangle In The Workplace

Any business that suffers from fraud needs to know that it is placing itself at risk by not taking action to reduce fraud. While fraud can lead to unease and tension in the workplace, knowing that some employees are happy to act in a manner that impacts on people’s livelihoods, is a bad state of affairs for any workplace, but it can be a lot more serious than just impacting on morale. Low morale can harm a business but when a business is losing money due to fraud, it may find itself at risk of going under.

Do you have internal control problems?

If you are looking to control fraud in the workplace, you need to consider the level of internal control that you have and a great starting points comes with fraud triangle. If you haven’t heard of the fraud triangle, it is focused on the three points of:

  • Opportunity
  • Rationalisation
  • Pressure

When you have all three of these aspects present in the workplace, the likelihood of fraud occurring will be higher. If you are able to diminish or remove one, two or three of these points, you’ll find that  it is far more likely that you will be able to positively impact on the level of fraud in the workplace.

When it comes to positively impacting on opportunity, there are many things that you can do. There are many times when a fraud has been committed when the culprit didn’t set out to commit fraud, but the opportunity has presented itself. If you can minimise the access that people have to money or data, you will be reducing the opportunity that fraud will be committed. If you make it that more than one person has to sign off financial matters, you will be reducing the opportunity to commit fraud.

Can you impact on how people rationalise fraud?

Similarly, you can impact on the rationalisation that some people have when committing fraud. Fraud in the workplace is often thought of as a victimless crime, and that it doesn’t matter if something is taken because it is part of natural wear and tear or losses for a business. This isn’t the case. A business looking to impact on the way that some people will rationalise crime should look to provide information about how fraud and theft impacts on a firm.

Money lost through fraud can cost people their jobs, and if this information is shared around the workplace, it may convince some people that fraud is not worth carrying out.

The hardest area for a workplace to impact on with respect to the fraud triangle is pressure. This is because the pressure is usually forces bearing down on the individual. If an individual is struggling for money or they are under pressure at home, they may feel compelled to commit fraud in the workplace. There is often no scope for a business to impact on these pressures but a firm should be looking to speak to their employees and create an open environment where they can talk about issues.

A counselling programme may help to alleviate pressure in the workplace

It may be that offering a confidential counselling programme in the workplace will allow employees to vent their problems and alleviate some of the pressure that they are under. This is a small step for a company but it could help to reduce the chances of fraud occurring in the workplace.

The fraud triangle is a recognised template behind the reasons why some people will commit fraud and any business that is concerned about fraud taking place in the workplace would be advised to implement measures that are based on meeting and reducing these three key points.

It is important to be aware of the fact that people are different, they will have different views on aspects and different things matter to them. This is why there is often a need to tailor the approach to reducing fraud in the workplace. Some approaches will be highly effective for some people but may have no impact at all on other people. It is essential to try different approaches and to consider the nature and personality of the workplace.

Workplace fraud can seriously harm a business but impacting on the fraud triangle can help to reduce the damage that fraud causes.

Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.