Summer 2006 Newsletter


Brave New World

Business Not Pleasure

Summertime Blues

All That Glitters...

Casting The Net

Trust Gordon?

It Ain't Over...

One In The Eye

Keep Your Nose Clean

Foreign Affairs

When Is A Car...

Don't Walk Away

Avoiding, The Issue

Brown Is Anti-PC

VAT's Up Doc?

Fuel's Gold

An Age-old Question?

That's Unfair!

Year In Year Out

How Hard To Try?

It's A Rip-Off!

Outlaws Win

Show Some Restraint

Not Our Problem

They Cannot Be Serious?


Pension Disappointments

It's A Rip-Off!

A report by an accountancy firm says that the amount of reported fraud has risen threefold since 2003 - in 2005 nearly £1bn was conned out of people who afterwards realised and reported it. That's likely to be the tip of an even larger iceberg.

Employee fraud has risen by 200% in the same period. The fraudster may be funding a lavish lifestyle, or may use the money for gambling or to pay off debts.

Employers need to be aware of the possibility. It's wrong to suspect everyone - that won't make for a good working atmosphere in the office - but it's also unwise to trust anyone too much. You should at least put in place some control and supervision to make it clear that you are aware of what's going on. You should also make it clear to everyone what you consider to be acceptable and what is not - for instance, people may regard office stationery as "a perk", and this may extend to use of office telephones, office computers, laptops, small items of stock...

The research shows that very few employees would expect any reward for being a "whistleblower" - rather the opposite, because they would fear an adverse reaction from their colleagues for being a "sneak". The best information to stop fraud is likely to come from the fraudster's colleagues. It's not easy to persuade people that telling on a dishonest colleague is the best policy, but it could save the employer from even bigger losses. It's probably best to make everyone realise that someone stealing from their employer can hurt everyone around them - at the lowest level, they may bring suspicion on everyone; in the end, they could destroy the business and lose everyone their job.