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Echo Business: Step by step guide to preventing workplace fraud.

SMALL firms could be vulnerable to fraud as they transform from small, personal, trust-based companies to larger entities.

So the Liverpool office of accountants and business advisors PKF has produced a free fraud prevention guide to combat the threat of criminal activities.

Forensic partner Mark Fairhurst said: "Fraud is more common than many people appreciate. Many small businesses might view the risk as coming from outside the business, but this isn't always the case."

A typical fraudster is often a long-serving, senior and trusted member of staff. PKF suggests six key steps to help businesses fight fraud: 1 Create a culture of honesty and integrity.

2 Promote a "whistle blowing" policy.

3 Set out a clear anti-fraud policy statement.

4 Implement effective recruitment and personnel policies5 Comply with and regularly review fraud prevention policy.

6 Have a fraud response plan in place with clearly defined responsibilities in the event of a fraud being discovered.

Mr Fairhurst added: "If you suspect a fraud it is important to keep calm.

"Key evidence can be contaminated or lost if not properly secured at the outset of an investigation. It is vital that computers which you suspect have been used to perpetrate the fraud are not touched, switched off or switched on."

For a free copy of Fraud prevention for growing businesses e-mail Rebecca. smallthwaite@uk.pkf.com

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 26, 2005
Words:237
Previous Article:Echo Business: Brief Case.
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