Fraud – why it happens and how to prevent it


Fraud should not happen, but it does. It can happen from the highest to lowest levels in an organisation. Recent surveys by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young show that incidents of fraud have increased globally by 22% over the past two years and here in the UK the average corporate fraud costs a company some £200,000. The government estimates the annual cost of fraud to the UK economy is in the region of £14bn.

Who are the losers? Not just the shareholders, suppliers, customers, etc, but society as a whole.

This programme shows why frauds happen, how organisations put themselves at risk and what they can do to prevent it.

Training objectives

This programme will help directors and others understand:
  • What causes or drives fraud
  • What types of fraud there are
  • How frauds are perpetrated
  • How they can be prevented
  • How regulators deal with fraud

Above all, the objective of this programme is to make your organisation as secure as possible from the threat of fraud.


This programme is ideal for directors, senior management teams, senior finance personnel and internal auditors.

Auditors in private practice would also benefit.


A thoroughly practical one-day course involving exercises, formal tutorials and trainer-facilitated discussions.

The course material has been developed to meet the needs of many successful companies by supporting their management improvement programmes.

Special features

A disc containing the checklists, process schedules and the various demonstration spreadsheet models will be given to each participant, as well as a comprehensive set of notes.

The programme can be tailored to meet the needs of the public sector, voluntary organisations and charities.

The expert trainer

Ralph is, unusually, dual-qualified as both an engineer and a chartered accountant. Having worked initially as an engineer, he qualified as an accountant and was a manager in one of the big international accountancy firms before setting up his own accountancy and consultancy practice. His clients include many international businesses from the banking, power, telecom, oil, manufacturing, engineering, construction and retail sectors.

The author of a number of books, including Finance and Accounting Desktop Guide, Practical Investment Appraisal and The Complete Guide to International Financial Reporting Standards, Ralph is in great demand as a lecturer and trainer. He presents technical update courses on behalf of professional organisations such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and the Institution of Chemical Engineers as well as public training programmes on behalf of commercial organisations in the UK and internationally on finance for non-accountants, cost reduction and other subjects.

Ralph’s unusual combination of depth of technical expertise with breadth of approach and excellent training skills makes him a very popular trainer with audiences from all backgrounds and at all levels. See what people have said about his training:

‘A very good presentation’

‘Was eloquent and seemed to genuinely enjoy talking about subject matter’

‘Quizzes helped me to think more about fraud’

‘Good mix of teaching and group work’

‘Energetic trainer’

‘Raised my overall awareness of fraud and its different aspects’

‘An entertaining review of a potentially dry subject’

Course outline

  1. Drivers of fraud
    Session objective: to understand why people might commit fraud
    • Drivers of fraudulent behaviour
      – Ambition
      – Greed
      – Theft
      – Conceit?
  2. Accounting mechanisms that allow fraud
    Session objective: to review the elements of the accounting, internal control and management processes that allow creative accounting
    • Income or liability?
    • Asset or expense?
    • Coding errors and misclassification
    • Netting off and grossing up
    • Off-balance sheet items
  3. Structures that allow fraud
    Session objective: to consider company and trading structures that allow frauds to be perpetrated
    • Group structures
    • Trading structures
    • Tax havens
    • Importing and exporting
  4. Interpretations and other non-compliance that allow fraud
    Session objective: to look at how creative interpretations of law and accounting practice can permit fraud
    • The place of accounting standards
    • Accounting policies
    • Trading methods
  5. Money laundering
    Session objective: to review what constitutes money laundering
    • Types of money laundering
    • Identifying laundering
    • Preventing laundering
  6. Preventing fraud – proper management structures
    Session objective: to review the place of proper corporate governance
    • Corporate governance
    • Company management structure
    • Audit committees
    • The place of internal audit
  7. Preventing fraud – proper accounting
    Session objective: to review best accounting and auditing practice
    • Accounting standards
    • Internal accounting policies
    • Adequacy of internal controls
    • Internal audit
  8. Preventing fraud – regulation
    Session objective: to look at how regulators aim to prevent fraud
    • The regulatory environment
    • Financial services regulation
  9. Conclusion
    • Course review
    • Open forum
    • Close

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