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11 Tips To Limit Fraud At Your Nonprofit

Unless someone develops a way to stop humans from having feelings of greed, nonprofit leaders are going to have to continue to be vigilant about fraud prevention. At a recent AICPA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference, the best ways to do this were discussed.

At the conference, Mitchell Lewis, David McRoberts and William Mellon said that while it is nearly impossible to stop fraud, there are ways to reduce the chances it will happen to you and to limit the damages if it does. They said that one of the main causes of fraud is a work environment where lack of oversight and too much trust are rampant.

With that in mind, Lewis, McRoberts, and Mellon offered five suggestions for organizations to practice:

  • Fraud governance structure, including tone at the top, a zero tolerance
    policy, documented fraud policy statement and a code of ethical
    behavior.
  • Regular education and training.
  • A fraud tip line.
  • Completion of a fraud assessment to identify fraud exposures and related events that require mitigation.
  • An investigation and response reporting process.
In terms of specific anti-fraud controls, they suggested:
  • Vendor bidding process;
  • Completion of background and reference checks;
  • Dual signatures and levels of approval;
  • Segregation of duties;
  • Mandatory vacations; and,
  • Internal audits and use of Computer Assisted Audit Techniques (CAATs).


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