RSM Australia

Culture is key to mitigating fraud, bribery and corruption risk

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Given that staff tends to take its cue from what management does, rather than what it says, companies that encourage questionable workplace practises from the top down, can end up being their own worst enemies by becoming victims and sometimes unwitting perpetrators of internal fraud, bribery and corruption.

The larger the company, the more likely there’ll be measures in place to detect these threats. However, there’s no shortage of examples, both locally and overseas, to prove that not even size, countless controls or regulatory compliances can prevent a corporate culture from turning sour.

Lessons from Volkswagen’s global scandal of cheating on emissions tests, a culture of greed within Australia’s banking and financial services sector, the AWB oil-for-wheat kickback scandal - or more recently, the $21 million accounting deception undertaken inside retailer Target - prove convincingly that corporate culture, which usually takes time to evolve, matters more than ever.

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