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The Association of Certified Fraud Examiner (ACFE) describes itself as the world's largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education. The ACFE publishes the Report to the Nations, a global study on occupational fraud and abuse, biennially. The latest 2020 global study report is publicly accessible on the Association’s website, as are the earlier editions. The reports to the nation are an excellent resource for anyone keen to upscale their anti-fraud knowledge. As standard practice, the study seeks to understand the behavioral red flags of fraud, internal control weaknesses, fraud in nonprofit organizations, the global cost of fraud, the profile of a fraudster, responses to fraud, how occupational fraud is concealed and the effectiveness of hotline and reporting mechanisms .The 2020 report is the 11th edition and the most striking observation is the consistency of the findings documented in the report over the years. Take for instance, the section on hotline and reporting mechanism effectiveness. The study made the following express findings in summary;

· 64% of victim organizations had a hotline

· Telephone hotlines were the most common mechanism whistle-blowers used by a substantial margin

· Organizations with hotlines detect frauds MORE QUICKLY than those without hotlines

· Organizations with hotlines detected fraud by tip more often. 43% of fraud schemes were detected by tip and half of those tips came from employees

· Corruption was the most common scheme

· Tips are more likely to be submitted through reporting mechanisms with training

· Since 2010, the use of hotlines or reporting mechanisms has increased notably

Undoubtedly, organizations should seriously rethink the design and operational effectiveness of their whistle blowing hotlines and make the adjustments and investments necessary to reap the maximum benefits of an effective whistle blowing hotline. While opinion is still divided on whether whistle blowing hotlines should be managed in-house or outsourced, case studies have evidently demonstrated that outsourcing benefits far out-way justifications for managing the hotline in-house.

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