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A New Approach to Combating White-collar Crime INTRODUCTION Due to the magnitude of white-collar crime in this country R36 billion losses annually and globally companies can no longer ignore this growing problem Apart from the huge financial implications white-collar crime also has other detrimental effects on companies including loss of reputation the undermining of competitiveness and the erosion of credibility Traditionally companies followed an ex post facto approach to fraud - damage control was attempted only after the fraud had occurred However such an approach has numerous disadvantages of which one is the cost element Huge losses may have been incurred which may be impossible to recover Forensic investigations may be necessary requiring experts who charge high rates implying further costs to the company A NEW APPROACH It is proposed that organisations should concentrate on the prevention of white-collar crime in the first instance rather than discovering that fraud has occurred ex post facto The advantages of a pro-active approach to crime are numerous and include the following It is cost effective It ensures containment of fraud in an organisation It preserves the good reputation of the organisation Investor confidence may be boosted It maintains a healthy morale in the workplace It deters future criminals from attempting fraudulent activities PRINCIPLES OF PREVENTATIVE FRAUD CONTROLS The following are some principles that should be applied in controlling fraud in a preventative way 1Early awareness creation which includes the training of Directors CEOs Managers of companies and other senior staff in the nature of white-collar crimes 2The establishment of a fraud prevention plan in an organisation This includes the development of codes of conduct Identifying the commercial crime risks in the organisation Development of internal and external crime reporting procedures The identification and utilisation of expert legal and investigative assistance The drawing up of an action list in the event of fraud 3The implementation of the fraud prevention plan including systems development to ensure that the plan
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