What is a four-letter word that keeps business owners up at night? “Risk”. There are many kinds of risk associated with operating a business, but perhaps the most unsettling is fraud. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reports annually the dollar value of business assets lost to fraud. In 2018 that figure was $7 billion. Internal control weaknesses were responsible for over half of the reported fraud.
What could your business lose to fraud? Cash, inventory, equipment, intellectual property, customer data, these are just a few business assets frequently targeted by fraud. Does your business have any of these assets? What would be the fallout if fraud was perpetrated and some of your assets walked out the door?
It’s never pleasant to think about the impact of fraud on business, but it happens every day to businesses of all sizes and types. Is there a way to prevent fraud from happening? Fortunately, there is. Conducting a “Risk Assessment” of your business’s processes and internal controls is one sure way of preventing fraud.
A “Risk Assessment” is a tool used to identify and understand an organization’s risks and weaknesses within their internal controls. Through the risk assessment, internal processes and controls are assessed and measured to correct weaknesses that could lead to fraud. Some of the areas targeted in a “Risk Assessment” include asset misappropriation, which is the theft of company revenues, inventory and fixed assets, financial statement reporting and non-financial reporting (e.g. expense reports, payroll), and regulatory compliance.
ATKG has perfected a “Risk Assessment” process for helping clients prevent the occurrence of fraud in their organization. The ATKG “Risk Assessment” is a great way for clients to tighten internal controls which naturally lead to the prevention of future frauds and help your organization run more smoothly. Each “Risk Assessment” is tailored to the client’s business processes and structure. An ATKG team of skilled professionals trained in performing “Risk Assessments” will work with your management team to identify internal control weaknesses and recommend solutions to mitigate risk. A full report of the “Risk Assessment” findings will be provided and include recommendations on how to strengthen internal controls within your organization. Additionally, the team will assist management in creating a monitoring process to insure future relevancy of internal controls.
Wouldn’t it be comforting to know that your business is secured against fraud. ATKG invites you to contact our team of Risk Assessment specialist to talk further about how a “Risk Assessment” could benefit your business and allow you to sleep better at night.
Donna Knapp is a Manager with ATKG, LLP. She maintains several certifications, including Certified Public Accountant, Certified Financial Forensic, Certified Information Technology Professional, and Certified Fraud Examiner. Donna’s professional expertise includes business valuations, fraud investigation, prevention and assessment, data analytics and litigation support. To discuss how a Risk Assessment can help protect your business from fraud, contact Donna at firstname.lastname@example.org or 210.572.4465.
 Report to the Nations, 2018 Global Study on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, ACFE