Including Vendors in Your Ethics Hotline

Most of us don’t think about including outsiders like vendors and suppliers in our fraud and compliance programs. But an Association of Certified Fraud Examiners survey found up to 38% of all hotline tips were from external sources. Giving external stakeholders access to a hotline or other reporting mechanism not only helps cut down on fraud, waste and other infractions, but sends a clear message that your organization is committed to ethical behavior and compliance. That matters in today’s reputation economy.

Vendors have a unique view of your company because they interact with it at several points – sales, accounts payable and deliveries. They can provide info you might not hear about otherwise. And the incremental cost of capturing their input is marginal.

Bill McDermott, vice president and CFO of Sevenson Environmental Services, uses a broad-ranging anonymous hotline to reduce fraud and ethical violations, and to demonstrate leadership in compliance with Federal Acquisition Regulations.

“It’s a solution that’s available to our employees, to our customers, and to our subcontractors and vendors,” he says. “We make it available to anyone with whom we conduct business. It’s a safeguard, and we publicize it.” (Read more about Sevenson’s fraud monitoring and reporting activities here.)

Contact us to talk about integrating vendors and suppliers into your fraud and compliance program if you are not already doing so.