COVID-19 Operational Changes Bring New Fraud & Forensic Risks

As you begin your 2021 budget process, consider the likelihood that your business and financial operations were impacted by more than just COVID-19 itself. The rapid move to a remote work environment may have exposed weaknesses you never knew your business had – and threatened your bottom line more than you realized.

Exposure to fraud is an area that is easily overlooked and often misunderstood, but it is a risk that could threaten the future viability of your business, especially as it is forced to adapt to the new operational reality of 2020. There are many aspects of this crisis that make your business more susceptible to fraud and other forensic risks, including:

  • Decentralized operations weaken normal internal controls over processes, vendors and service providers.
  • Weakened controls and a remote environment give employees more opportunities to rationalize inappropriate activity.
  • Cyberattacks are on the rise as organizations struggle with decentralized and remote access to their operations.

Proactive Strategy is Key

The financial strains of the pandemic leave even less room for errors or oversight when it comes to protecting your company from fraud. The sooner you can detect inappropriate and unauthorized activity, the easier it will be to minimize financial losses and implement new controls.

Grassi’s Forensic advisors have the experience to help clients uncover fraudulent activity or implement controls to stop it before it even starts. We can also review your insurance policies to verify you maintain the appropriate level of protection against fraud or forensic issues and help you document insurance claims.

James O'Brien James O’Brien is a Partner in Forensics, Litigation and Valuation Services at Grassi. He provides a variety of forensic and financial consulting and accounting related services to attorneys, insurance companies, governmental agencies, and public and private corporations. The matters he routinely addresses involve disputes within construction, insurance, healthcare, technology, commercial and real estate companies. Prior to joining Grassi, Jim spent approximately 28 years with... Read full bio