UK employees are the least trustworthy, research shows

SAS research reveals UK experiences higher travel, expenses and company credit card fraud

More employees have been caught for occupational fraud in the UK than anywhere else across EMEA, research from SAS shows. Over half (59 per cent) of UK businesses have suffered travel and expenses fraud by workers, while 49 per cent have caught their employees using company credit cards fraudulently.

The research shows that occupational fraud – where an employee deliberately abuses company resources for their own gain – is a common challenge faced by businesses, but nowhere more so than in the UK. Of the countries surveyed only 39 per cent on average experienced travel and expenses fraud, and a quarter (24 per cent) suffered credit card fraud.

Despite the country’s poor showing, most UK companies take a relaxed attitude to detecting this type of occupational fraud and have failed to adopt the most effective technologies. Only 12 per cent use advanced analytics technologies – such as algorithm-based software and machine learning capabilities – against an average of 14 per cent in the EMEA survey. Additionally, less than one in 10 (nine per cent) make use of artificial intelligence (AI) for occupational fraud prevention.

“When you rely solely on employees to detect fraud, your strategy is fundamentally flawed” said Laurent Colombant, Continuous Controls and Fraud Manager at SAS. “The bulk of workers are honest and will do the right thing, but you can’t trust a small number of poachers to turn gamekeeper. Until UK businesses make use of advanced analytics detection techniques, the true scale of fraud will remain unknown.”

For more information view the full report entitled Unmasking the enemy within: how smart analytics can stop procurement fraud and watch our webinar on why organisations fail to spot procurement fraud.

Methodology

In Q4 2018, SAS and 3GEM surveyed 850 business leaders across EMEA for their opinions and experiences of procurement fraud. SAS commissioned the research to understand the scale of the problem and the extent to which organisations recognise and attempt to fight it. SAS wanted to assess current methods of combatting procurement fraud, while recommending best practice strategies and technologies.

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