Finance Update: How trustees can tackle fraud & cyber crime

Some resources for trustees to use to help with identifying and tackling fraud and cyber crime – including an upcoming webinar.

Back in October 2020, the Charity Commission said that charities had reported crimes worth £3.6m during a six-month period, to Action Fraud, the UK’s national centre for tackling fraud. The true scale of fraud against charities is believed to be much higher, as fraud is known to be underreported. Off the back of this, it warned trustees to strengthen their defences as it fears the pandemic has created environments – remote working and virtual activities and sign-off processes as examples – that are enabling charity fraud. Full guidance on how trustees can set about identifying and tackling fraud can be found below along with details of an upcoming webinar.

Guidance from Crowe LLP

Crowe UK LLP recently published comprehensive guidance on this – ‘Social Purpose and Non-Profit Organisations Fraud Risk Assessment’.

It sets out key questions for Boards to ask as a starting point in considering Fraud risk and then presents a more detailed Organisational Counter Fraud Checklist. It also includes a checklist of potential fraud risks by function and activity and is intended to help Board members to identify the types of operational fraud risks which may be relevant to the organisation.

Finally, it highlights a set of questions from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) publication “10 Steps to Cyber Security” to assist Boards with their existing strategic-level risk discussions on cyber security and specifically how to ensure the right safeguards and cultures are in place.

Additional Resources

There are a wide range of guidance, polices and procedure templates, checklists, manuals, and videos to help you from a variety of sources. Age UK’s Finance Team have collated this guidance in the document below:

Upcoming Webinar on Fraud

Following the release of this guidance, Crowe are also running a webinar titled Prevention and cure: good governance and legal redress for charities dealing with fraud. This will take place on Wednesday 12 May 2021 at 9.30AM. For further information and to register to attend please use this link.