HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - Apr 10, 2013) - Companies of all sizes must maintain "enhanced 360-degree anti-fraud vigilance" against growing threats to their assets, property and reputation from bad-intentioned individuals and groups in and outside their organizations, says UHY Advisors FLVS corporate fraud investigation professional Jesse Daves.
Financial fraud attacks targeted 14% of Texas companies during the past two years, according to companies responding to UHY LLP's February Texas Business Outlook Survey. "This incidence rate is in line with national survey results, which also show more than 60% of companies are targeted annually for a broad array of offenses such as theft of physical assets or intellectual property, bribery, conflicts of interest or money laundering," said Daves, a principal in the firm's Forensic, Litigation & Valuation Services (FLVS) practice.
"Fortunately, most of the Texas companies reported they handled the fraud incursions without significant impact on their companies. However, it is sobering that one-in-seven suffered an incident of financial fraud despite the existence of fraud detection or prevention controls in more than 90% of the companies," added Norman Comstock, a Managing Director in the firm's Management & Technology practice. "This indicates to us that a higher level of coordinated vigilance and action will be needed to detect and counteract financial fraud in the future."
To provide 360-degrees of vigilance and response, UHY LLP has developed Guardian Services, incorporating leading practices in the areas of internal audit, financial fraud investigation, electronic discovery, and process improvement. "It isn't sufficient for a company to simply respond or react," Daves observed. "The 2013 reality is that unless a company is prepared to monitor, analyze, respond and remediate in a 360-degree range of activity, the bad guys will find and exploit breaches in the organization's fraud security."
"Our experience is that the most efficient and cost-effective approach links a company's internal financial, legal, compliance and systems capabilities and an advisor's more specialized audit, forensic, technical and implementation abilities. Keeping the external component under one roof optimizes logistics, communications, confidentiality and leverages resources," Comstock added.
Guardian Services provides value to companies because it operates seamlessly on the prevention, detection, investigation and remediation fronts to provide comprehensive fraud security. Additionally, the services are interlinked so that companies can begin implementation at whatever stage is needed, from improving internal controls to avoid fraud, or fielding a fraud investigation. "Obviously preventative action is the preferred approach, but many companies believe 'this can't happen to us," said Daves. "It can often take a high-profile case involving a competitor for a company's threat awareness level to be sufficiently increased to take action," he added.
"Few firms bring our depth of knowledge in each of the critical disciplines of internal audit, investigations, e-discovery, and process improvement, particularly for the dynamic middle market," Jeff Botvinick, UHY Advisors FLVS practice leader said. "We believe Guardian Services will lever our skills in a way to help companies no matter their fraud challenge, regardless of when they call us in."
UHY LLP has deployed Guardian Services in active anti-fraud programs for clients in the energy, healthcare, retail, and manufacturing industries, both in the U.S. and in Latin America. The service can be initiated or staffed from any of UHY Advisors 14 offices in the U.S. or through the more than 270 cities that are part of the UHY International network.
Guardian Services is comprised of four integrated phases: prevention, detection, investigation, and remediation; the process is a virtuous circle, and can start at any point in the solution set.
UHY Advisors' FLVS group is a national consulting practice that has been successfully working with law firms, general counsel and both public and private companies for more than 35 years to deliver a comprehensive package of services in litigation consulting, fraud and forensic services, and business valuation.
UHY Advisors, Inc. and its subsidiary entities have nearly 1,000 professionals providing services from offices across the United States. UHY Advisors is ranked as one of the Top 20 professional services firms providing tax and business consulting in the country by Accounting Today. Attest services are performed through an alternative practice structure with UHY LLP, a licensed CPA firm. UHY Advisors, Inc. and UHY LLP are independent U.S. members of UHY International Limited. For additional information, please visit UHY Advisors' website at www.uhyadvisors-us.com/flvs.