Fraud and corruption are unfortunate consequences of managing complex, geographically dispersed companies. Employees, customers, suppliers, and vendors have many reasons for engaging in fraudulent activities that can be grouped into the opportunistic, pre-meditated, and malicious (i.e., when an individual is disgruntled and believes they deserve more than they are getting) categories. Ultimately, it is an opportunity for a person to take money for themselves. Without the existence of continuous controls, these indiscretions can typically take an average of 32 months for an organisation to detect. By then, not only have the perpetrators disappeared, but the losses to the business are also significant with minimal chances of recovering them.
Corporate fraud is ultimately a cultural issue. Auditing departments and special groups reporting into the CFO or the board can deploy continuous controls to reduce fraudulent activity in the procure-to-pay, HR, contract and expense management processes proactively. Without a continuous control function, and management by auditors who operate independent from the rest of the organisation, fraud can be allowed to grow like a mould and be just as difficult to root out completely. This is why it is important to eradicate it as quickly as possible.