Keeping your business safe from financial crime
Did you know that over the last two years, a staggering 64% of UK organisations have experienced fraud, corruption, or some other form of financial crime*? Scary stuff we know but at Ellis & Co, we are committed to helping our clients take the right steps to guard against the threat of financial crime, or “FinCrime’ as it is commonly referred to.
Types of financial crime
Forms of financial crime can include, but are not limited to, the following: electronic crime, fraud, bribery and corruption, information security, money laundering, market abuse and insider dealing, terrorist financing, and tax evasion.
It is worth noting that the threat of financial crime in a business can come from external and internal sources. This can be particularly challenging for organisations to manage and come to terms with.
What can you do to avoid financial crime in your business?
Firstly, being aware of the risks is crucial. It is only by understanding the risks that you can put in place the appropriate precautionary measures. It is also important to monitor and review security regularly. For example, cyber security software which was highly effective two years ago will no longer offer the right level of protection to guard against today’s threats if it hasn’t been updated.
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula to safeguard completely against financial crime. Criminals are increasingly sophisticated in their FinCrime attacks. Whilst there may be no single foolproof way to ensure your business isn’t targeted, there are some practical steps that you can take to mitigate the risk:
- Don’t ignore red flags. If something seems off or suspicious, then it’s probably worth digging deeper. Encourage a culture of questions and share information amongst your team.
- Where possible, offer financial crime prevention training within your business. Ensure that your team are aware of the risks of everything from opening spam emails to fake payment requests.
- Keep all IT systems up-to-date and invest in the right protections and anti-virus software. This is especially important with remote employees.
- Take compliance seriously and pay attention to detail when it comes to financial matters. Have robust processes in place.
- Carry out regular risk assessments. These will differ from business to business but if carried out regularly, risk assessments can be incredibly effective in guarding against the risk of financial crime.
- Consider if there is more you could do to ensure your systems and payment processes are secure and your data is protected online. At Ellis & Co, we hold a Cyber Essentials certification to protect ourselves and our clients from a range of cyber threats.
- Seek professional support from outside of your business. If risk assessments have highlighted vulnerabilities or you don’t have the relevant experience or expertise in-house, then it is time to get the right external support. Speak to your accountants, IT specialists, HR consultants, or other specialists in areas where you have gaps or cause for concern.
The fight against financial crime is an ever-evolving situation. The key is to stay up to date with advances in technology, new legal legislation, and crime trends. Encourage your staff to take threats seriously and to adhere to best practices.
If you would like support with any aspects of financial crime or have questions about managing the risks and putting effective preventative measures in place, get in touch with our friendly team today.
*Source PWC’s Economic Crime Survey