UK fraud hits 15-year high

The value of fraud in the UK reached £2.11 billion in 2017, a 538 per cent over the course of the past 15 years.

The research, which is based on reported fraud cases over worth over £50,000, shows that mid-tier firms found the number of reported fraud cases also increased by 172 per cent to 577, while the average value of fraud has also risen by 133 per cent to £3.66 million, compared to £1.5 million in 2003.

The biggest hotspot for fraud in 2017 were London and the South East, where a total of 176 cases were reported, totalling £1.63 billion. In second place was the Midlands, with the average value of fraud at £3.2 million.

Employee fraud was the most common type recorded, with 153 cases reported, followed by tax fraud, where 134 cases were recorded. However, whilst the value of employee fraud rose by 470 per cent, tax fraud as down by 74.3 per cent.

Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson says: “While a significant amount of fraud still goes unreported, our research suggests that people are becoming a lot more courageous in coming forward to report it and recovering their assets through the criminal or civil justice systems.

“There is now an expectation that fraud will be reported and investigated, both internally by corporations, charities, public sector entities and companies operating within regulated sectors.

“Stakeholders are seemingly no longer content to simply sweep fraud under the carpet in the hope that it will all go away.”

Effective management accounts and company audits

When putting processes in place for effective business administration, sound management accounts will enable better control of your financial situation and awareness of the business in real time. This can be effective not only in detecting and countering fraud, but also in enhancing planning for the peaks and troughs. In turn, whilst many companies do not need an audit due to rising thresholds, an audit can give comfort to business owners and act as a fraud deterrent.

At Beavis Morgan, we work with SMEs to put processes in place which make it easier to run your business, reduce risk and maintain effective management of your company’s working capital.

Contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner for further information about how we can assist you and your business.
Further reading: Top 10 tax fraud cases of 2017 revealed