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P&A whistle-blowing service targets fraud

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P&A GRANT THORNTON said it has upgraded its online subscription-only platform for whistle-blowers reporting fraud, known as the ProActive Hotline.

In a statement Thursday, the audit and tax advisory firm said the service allows whistle-blowers to report misconduct in the workplace securely and confidentially.

Persons reporting incidents can opt to remain anonymous and be assured of prompt reporting to the authorities.

“Unethical corporate practices sometimes go unreported in organizations because employees have become fearful of being targeted for reprisal or retaliation by perpetrators of fraud or misconduct,” Emiliano S. Librea III, partner and advisory services head of P&A Grant Thornton, said in the statement.

“This is why firms must provide an environment where witnesses can confidently yet anonymously report these malpractices,” he added.

The ProActive Hotline allows complaints to be tracked across the entire reporting process, ultimately generating anonymous reports for authorized individuals like the company’s internal auditor and chief executive officer.

“Whether one is a small-scale business or a huge conglomerate, any firm is vulnerable to fraud especially when its internal control systems are weak,” Mr. Librea said.

He also said early detection of fraud can save the company money. He cited a report by Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), which found that companies with fraud hot lines are able to detect 46% of such incidents through tips.

Companies can subscribe to the service for an annual fee of P150,000.

Mr. Librea added: “Leadership must clearly define what fraud is and what it does to an organization. They have to be a good example to their people. Regular and frequent communication with employees about what is or is not acceptable behavior is best practice,” he said.

Punongbayan & Araullo (P&A) is the Philippine member of the Grant Thornton LLP network and a unit of Grand Thornton International Ltd. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang