Strengthening defences against fraud risks

Date: 22 June 2020

Author: Nigel Footitt, BDO

As the lockdown is relaxed, sport is gradually beginning to return, both at amateur and professional levels. This is a highly welcome development, but the return of sport will also bring challenges. Sports organisations will need to rethink the way they approach their activities and their ways of operating.

This is also the perfect opportunity to review and rethink the way in which you strategically manage your exposure to the risk of fraud.

A dedicated on the BDO website has been created to provide guidance on countering fraud in the sports sector.

The state of play

From Olympic-funded sports to local village teams, all sporting organisations are facing difficult times due to reduced income. This places additional focus on costs and cost control, and creates the need for additional support from governing bodies in the form of grants and loans. Organisations on both sides become exposed to fraud risks, with fraudulent applications prevalent.

Personal protective equipment has also gone from being a necessity for some to a necessity for most, and many sports cannot return without it. Again fraudsters have seen the opportunity to exploit the situation, with orders not turning up or being well below the required standard paid for.

Another major challenge, which is not restricted to sports bodies, is the move to more remote ways of working and increased reliance on emails, phone calls and video conferencing software. This brings with it an increased fraud risk, especially as scammers change their tactics in response.

What should you be doing now?

All organisations have had to adapt the way they work to accommodate this new normal. This includes adjusting controls to mitigate the new fraud risks that can arise, whether in IT and cyber capabilities, supply chains and procurement, or any other area. Guidance is available

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