Protect Your Charity From Fraud

In the final of a series of blogs for Charity Fraud Awareness Week, our Head of Charities and member of the Charity SORP Committee, Jenny Simpson, gives an overview of the policies and procedures which may be appropriate to protect your charity from fraud.

Whilst it's impossible to fully protect your charity against all fraud there are a number of things you can do to ensure that you have the best chance of doing so or detecting fraud at an early stage so that remedial action can be taken.

Develop an anti-fraud policy

This policy should set out your approach to combating fraud, including what you consider to be fraud and where you see the main risks of fraud for your charity, what to do when fraud is suspected and who is responsible for managing the risk of fraud.  Example fraud policies are available online.

The policy should be widely communicated to all staff, volunteers and Trustees.

Promote a culture of ethical behaviour

A robust internal culture of ethical behaviour is critical in your defences against fraud. The message should come from the top down and make it clear that fraud is considered a serious issue.

Having a whistleblowing policy will ensure that staff and volunteers feel able to report any concerns, safe in the knowledge that they will be protected.

Ensure your financial controls are robust

Strong, documented financial controls are one of the most important tools in your fight against fraud. Segregation of duties, ensuring that no one person is in control of all aspects of a transaction, is paramount but can be difficult to achieve in small charities.

Finally, remember that your policies and procedures should be regularly reviewed and updated if necessary.

This blog is intended as a general overview and discussion of the subjects dealt with. It is not intended to be, and should not be used as a substitute for taking professional advice in any specific situation. Wylie & Bisset LLP (and its subsidiary Wylie & Bisset (Audit) Limited) will accept no responsibility for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this blog. If you would like further advice or would like to discuss any of the issues raised in the blog then please get in touch with your regular Wylie & Bisset contact or use the contact form on our website.