There was a really interesting news report that came out of South Africa, a couple of days ago. It presented details of a white collar fraud survey. The first of its kind in that country it proves to be very interesting reading. In some instances the numbers are poorer than the global averages.
For instance the study said that fraud by employees took between three to five years to detect. Contrast this with the global average of 18 months to 2 years. The finding brought to light the fact that 42% of companies did not have fraud detection or prevention controls in place – whereas the world-wide statistic is 28%. This is alarming considering that 71% reported incidences of fraud.
What is a pity though is that there are no numbers (reported at least) on the categories, of internal fraud, such as asset misappropriation, accounting frauds, espionage, data theft, etc. One hopes that these will be studied in the next round of studies.
We must remember that South Africa, like India, is an emerging and potentially strong player on the world economic stage. The lessons learned there would be very useful and a great learning for us.