Book Review: Countering Fraud for Competitive Advantage
As the title suggests, Countering Fraud for Competitive Advantage examines a comprehensive method of measuring fraud to counter financial crime. Written by Professors Mark Button and Jim Gee, the book offers a new perspective on the problem of fraud by looking at the ways of reaping a new competitive advantage.
Professor Mark Button is the Director of Counter Fraud Studies at the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Portsmouth while Jim Gee is a world–renowned expert in the counter fraud field and has advised private companies and governments from more than 35 countries.
In Chapter 1 or Introduction, the authors argue that all organizations experience fraud, even though they think they do not or have not detected fraud.
“All organizations suffer from fraud, even if they think they don’t because there have been no detected frauds. Most frauds by their nature are undetected, and fraud costs money. Because of the lack of accurate measurement, it is the last great cost many organizations unknowingly have, which could also be substantially reduced. In the commercial sector this could reap a competitive advantage, and in the increasingly financially strained public sector, it could stave off cuts in services.”
The 210-page book consists of eleven chapters. The Chapter 2 provides a definition of fraud and explains what impacts fraud can have. This chapter also mentions 43 types of fraud that can occur within organizations and several case studies, one of which is fraud in international humanitarian aids. This book also raises several studies that reveal the profiles and motivations of perpetrators in Chapter 3.
Chapter 4 explains why strategies against fraud are often ineffective. Meanwhile, the strategy to counter fraud is presented in Chapter 5. Chapter 5 also describes the basic principles of measuring and dealing fraud and how these principles shape the overall strategy.
Chapter 6 states that changing attitude towards fraud is an important measure in preventing it. This chapter also demonstrates various evidence based on methods to counter fraud, some of which are internal controls and screening, which organizations can undertake. In Chapter 9, readers will find the importance of metrics and how organizations can make metrics according to their needs.
Overall, this book advocates new models of tackling fraud and elaborates best practices with examples from around the world. To implement the models advocated by this book, organizations are suggested to involve professional staff who have the knowledge and skills in fraud prevention.