What’s Corporate Culture all about and why is it important to an organization anyway? Is this something that can be audited? It sure isn’t something that lends itself to data analysis, or is it?
Just the other day I was in our Marketing department, chatting about Social Media, e-Books and the like. I glanced on over and noticed a roll of raffle tickets. As we were just about to have our company’s 25th Anniversary Celebration, I immediately deduced that these were in fact drink tickets, not raffle tickets. They were sitting out there in the open, unattended, pretty close to quitting time.
My colleague Carri and I had a bit of a chuckle when I commented, “Now THERE is a fraud waiting to happen!” Of course we put the tickets away and carried on with our discussion. What prevented that fraud from being perpetrated? I’d argue that part of it is owing to our corporate culture here at ACL. Our corporate values – which we take quite seriously – include Integrity, Trust and Respect. This emanates from the very top of the organization and flows right on through. We have a great Tone at the Top.
Can this be audited? Perhaps in a general sense. Can data analysis be used to help find indicators of fraud risk? I believe so – albeit not exhaustively.
I recall once asking an ACL user about fraud detection in Travel and Entertainment expense claims. They stated that while it made up a very small percentage of the organization’s annual spend, they always ran fraud detection analytics in the T&E area. I said, “Really? Why if it’s such a minor part of your audit universe?” The answer was interesting and stuck with me. This ACL user looked at T&E fraud as a litmus test. If there was hanky-panky going on in T&E, then it was an indicator that the corporate culture wasn’t all that healthy and that the risk of fraud was higher than subjectively perceived. Empirically, as the data indicated, fraud and abuse was present, and therefore audit should be vigilant in all of their audit work for other indicators of wrong doing. What’s your litmus test? How do you evaluate your corporate culture?