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Community boosts joint effort on fraud prevention

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 29 Apr 2024

Fraud Advisory Panel initiative facilitates cross-sector collaboration – helping organisations with risk mitigation and highlighting career opportunities in the counter fraud field.

The Fraud Advisory Panel (FAP) is tapping into a growing desire for joint working on threat aversion with the launch of a new community for existing and future counter fraud experts.

Bringing together professionals, enthusiasts, students, apprentices, and anyone new to the fraud prevention arena, the Future Counter Fraud Community (FCFC) aims to help gear up the next generation of counter fraud experts.

FAP Head Matt Field says engaging with people who are considering a career in counter fraud and enhancing their awareness of fraud prevention gives them a better understanding of what fraud prevention is, and how to mitigate threats.

“The prevalence of fraud and recognition of the harm it causes continues to grow,” Field says. “Cross-sector collaboration to mitigate the risks of fraud is improving. However, there is always more that we can do, whether that’s through information sharing, general engagement or networking. We have set up the FCFC because we want to change professional and societal approaches to fraud.” 

Call for skills

Field says inspiring individuals to take up a career in counter fraud is critical for ensuring that business, government and not-for-profits are aware of the risks that fraud presents and are best prepared to protect themselves. It follows concerns that the UK is struggling with a dearth of counter fraud skills. 

To fight fraud and financial crime we need the right people. We need to bring them in and show them that path now,” Field says. “If people have a sense of what a good counter fraud culture looks like through the work that we’re doing today, then that’s a success.”

Laura Hough, ICAEW’s Director for Trust and Ethics, says: “Part of the challenge is ensuring that professionals’ skills remain current and are continually refreshed, so that they are equipped to adapt to new threats as they arise. Responding to these new threats can be challenging as there’s only a finite number of trained professionals to call on.” 

Meanwhile, both Field and Hough describe the diversity of routes into the profession as a strength. “To work in counter fraud, you don’t need to just be a forensic accountant or a lawyer. We should support those who want to pursue counter fraud careers. It’s about doing whatever we can to make that pathway as broad as possible,” Field says.

Hough adds: “Counter fraud is one of those careers that you can get into from a range of backgrounds and then learn by experience. There are people who’ve been involved in it for 40 years that don’t necessarily have formal qualifications in fraud prevention, but everyone recognises their expertise and experience.” 

Pulling together

Hough says FAP’s sector independence means it is well-placed to bring together those committed to fighting fraud from across different sectors and professions. “With fraud in the public consciousness more than ever, there is an opportunity to bring in a new generation of fraud practitioners. We need to make the profession as big and as strong as we can to prepare for the future.” 

FAP is also calling on experienced counter fraud experts to sign up as mentors to help pass on their knowledge to the next generation, and for those looking to join the profession to join as mentees. 

“The FCFC provides an excellent opportunity to build connections between experienced professionals and those looking to enter the profession. The mentoring scheme is an important part of this programme. The counter fraud profession is passionate and engaged. The opportunity for people to pass on their knowledge is one of the strongest tools that we’ve got,” Field says. 

Field says the community will work with existing collaboration platforms, including the UK Fraud Forum and Cifas, to redouble counter fraud efforts. 

To promote the FCFC, the Fraud Advisory Panel has organised a series of webinars, career development events, mentorship programmes, and other educational resources. To register, visit the Fraud Advisory Panel

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