“FRAUD! The Director’s Role in Detection and Deterrence”

While the scale and breadth of the Volkswagen emissions scandal make it hard to beat, VW is far from alone. Consider Theranos, Inc., the 14 Detroit Public Schools principals charged with bribery, or FIFA to name a few recent headline grabbers. Fraud happens—and more frequently than we’d like to think. How does it occur? Shouldn’t “someone” have seen it coming? Exactly who should have?

We will cover both financial fraud and operational fraud, and look at the board’s role in detecting it, because when things blow up the question is always “where was the board”?

  • What are the red flags?
  • Is the data relayed to the board and management team “too good to be true”?
  • Does the board have a deep enough understanding of the business?
  • Are compensation incentives appropriate?
  • What is the culture?

What are the conditions that enable such situations to develop?

  • Pressure for results?
  • Unrealistic deadlines/too much to do?
  • Simple temptation?
  • Pressure from personal issues?

Could it happen at your company? What can be done to prevent/detect/correct it?

Workplaces can be pressure cookers of increasing demands at breakneck pace, leading to lapses in compliance. Tight economics can also lead to taking shortcuts; and never underestimate the power of “rationalization”.

While the big companies provide the most outrageous examples (e.g., WorldCom and Enron), it happens at all sized companies—public, private and, perhaps most disturbingly, at not-for-profits. Fraud shows up everywhere and it is almost always a shocking surprise.

Our experts will illustrate and illuminate the causes and warning signs, and effective ways to detect and deter operational and financial fraud.

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