TORONTO—Forty-eight per cent of executives at large Canadian companies said employees have attempted to defraud their organization, while only 35 per cent of mid-sized company execs said they faced internal fraud issues, according to a recent study.
Regardless of company size, employees who attempt fraud were very likely to be caught, according to the findings of a SAS/Leger Marketing survey of more than 1,000 Canadian executives conducted earlier this year.
Only four per cent of executives at large companies said employees who committed fraud escaped being caught, whereas 10 per cent of those fraudsters at mid-sized companies eluded detection.
More than two-thirds of the fraudsters were tracked down after the fraud occurred (74 per cent and 69 per cent respectively for large and mid-sized companies).
In approximately one in six cases (14 per cent at large companies, 16 per cent at mid-sized) the company identified the fraud attempt and stopped it before it could occur.
“There needs to be a paradigm shift where the focus is on catching fraud before it occurs rather than tracking it down after,” said Wes Gill, Executive Lead of Enterprise Risk Management with SAS Canada.
“While diligence and perseverance help, technology is the key. Business analytic software can identify fraud as it is evolving, helping companies identify it before it has actually occurred. Would you rather round up the horses after they’ve left the barn or prevent them leaving in the first place?”
The survey also revealed:
- 51 per cent of mid-sized companies tracked down the occurrence of customer fraud after it occurred
- 31 per cent of all customer fraud was identified before it could occur (the same for both large and mid-sized companies)
- 55 per cent of food and retails executives said an employee had attempted to defraud their company
- 46 per cent of both government and finance executives said they had been hit by employee fraud attempts
- The lowest levels of employee fraud were reported by the professional consulting, real estate and legal professions, with 23 per cent saying they had been victim of employee fraud attempts.
SAS Canada develops and sells business analytics software and services, and employs 263 people across the country at its Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City and Montréal offices.