Lawyer Monthly - March 2022

55 MAR 2022 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM appropriate investment in identifying fraud risks and ensuring appropriate fraud prevention and detection measures are in place. Counter-fraud technology is playing an increasing role in this area and is something we have invested heavily in as a business. It is also especially important that appropriate integrity, diligence and healthy scepticism is applied to business partners and transactions. How has fraud changed over time? Is there greater pressure on companies to mitigate potential fraud? Technology is a continuing theme. Advancements in technology have allowed malicious actors to penetrate many companies’ control frameworks or security infrastructures, so it is unsurprising that cybercrime is one of the most common and disruptive types of fraud experienced by UK companies. We have all heard the stories of fake payment requests being sent to finance teams and many more businesses have fallen victim to this than is reported in the press. Interestingly, technology presents both a fraud risk and a great opportunity for companies to strengthen their anti-fraud controls. At PwC we use a number of disruptive technologies and automation methods, such as machine learning and AI, which allow us to review whole populations of data to identify fraudulent transactions. This is helping our clients to be more proactive in managing their risks than ever before. Companies are increasingly using these technologies to mitigate potential losses and secure recoveries. We are also seeing an increasing focus on directors’ responsibilities relating to fraud risk. This is driven by greater stakeholder expectations and a regulatory desire to build confidence across UK corporate governance. The UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) consultation, ‘Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance’, indicates that directors of ‘public interest entities’ will be required to report on the actions they have taken to prevent and detect material fraud. Whilst the recommendations have not yet been published, many clients are pre-empting these and seeking help to improve their fraud management activities. Which emerging risks are your clients finding particularly challenging? The ‘fraud triangle’ continues to be a great way to think about the fraud risk environment by considering pressures, COVID-19 has undoubtedly created a much more favourable environment for the fraudster.

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