Via Colombia Reports/TodayColombia

An international study concluded that 49% of Colombian companies were affected by fraud last year.

Colombia marked a lower fraud rate than both the regional and global average of 56% and 61%, respectively. However, “despite reporting a lower than average fraud prevalence during the past year, Colombian companies experienced widespread problems with vendor, supplier or procurement fraud. Nineteen percent of the respondents were affected, exceeding the survey average of 12%.”

Additionally, “another problem for Colombian companies is theft of physical assets or stock, reported by 19% of survey respondents.”

The study, carried out by Kroll Advisory Solutions and the Economist Intelligence Unit, sought to analyse different types of fraud, their prevalence, areas in which businesses experience vulnerability, increases in exposure relative to the previous year, reasons for the increase, and the percentage of revenue lost as a result of fraud.

Further, “IT complexity” is seen as the largest contributor to future increased exposure to fraud, however, in acknowledgement of this concern 76% of companies that took part in the study “intend to invest in greater IT security in the next year.”

Kroll reported that 52% of the companies that participated in the survey made annual revenues of over $500 million.

According to colombian newspaper El Universal, Colombian Minister for Finance, Mauricion Cardenas, said that while the results were on balance positive, there was still work to be done in strenghtening the position of business in the fight against corruption.  Cardenas emphasised in particular the need to develop a stronger ethical culture between employers and employees.