Don’t get mad. Protect yourself.

Once upon a time, victims of fraud got angry. Now if something goes wrong, your reputation is at risk. Did you do enough to protect yourself? Is your organization safe?
It’s Fraud Prevention Month. Check out the results from CPA Canada’s fraud survey, and amp up your awareness with these expert tips.

A CPA Canada survey released just in time for Fraud Prevention Month found that one in three respondents had been a victim of financial fraud.

“The only way to fight fraud is by being aware,” says Jennifer Fiddian-Green, a CPA, CA and national managing partner for Forensics and Dispute Resolution at Grant Thornton in Toronto.

Be on top of the business game

Not only our personal finances need protecting. Targeting corporations is more lucrative than targeting individuals, so businesses need to be wary, too.

“We have to be savvy about meeting the challenge day to day for ourselves and our clients,” says Fiddian-Green, who was technical advisor for CPA Canada’s Protecting You and Your Money: A Guide to Avoiding Identity Theft and Fraud.

Fiddian-Green says the overall tolerance of fraud has never been lower, but fraud awareness and prevention still have a long way to go.

Tips for CPAs

To gauge where you stand in the fraud-prevention spectrum, take the Journal of Accountancy's fraud IQ test.

Fiddian-Green offers these additional tips for financial professionals:

  1. Don’t assume you know fraud. What worked for fraudsters five years ago still works. But there are new techniques and twists, and they particularly exploit the many new payment systems. Keep updating your knowledge and adding to your fraud-prevention toolbox.
  2. Don’t wait for fraud to happen. Be proactive. Help clients put in place the right tools and controls.
  3. Detect fraud early. Years of Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ statistics show that detecting fraud early matters. Ensure you have the right tools.
Fraud Prevention Month is a great time to check what you’re doing right and what needs improvement. “We should be helping our clients, businesses and people deal with this proactively,” says Fiddian-Green.

Stay safe and happy clicking! We look forward to your comments and feedback.

Canada Revenue Agency

Fraud stories in CPA Magazine