The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was enacted to help fight corporate fraud. Public companies have spent untold millions to comply and hired compliance and ethics officers ostensibly to ensure adherence to that law. Yet, somehow, fraud is still here.
However comprehensive your code of ethics may be, and however many policies you have, realize this one truth: your organization could be the next one to hit the headlines. Simply saying, “we strive for the highest ethical standards in our business,” and passing that off as your tone at the top will never deter a morally challenged insider from ripping you off. Insider fraud is always a threat, and a company must always police against it. Once you understand that, it’s just a matter of a modest investment of financial and human resources to implement and enforce policies and procedures with teeth.