PKF Warning on Hotel Sector Fraud
PKF is warning that hoteliers need to take greater steps to protect themselves against fraud, which it estimates could be costing the sector over £2bn a year.
The Resilience to Fraud of the UK Hotel Sectorreport, published by PKF and the University of Portsmouth, assessed counter fraud activities for a range of sectors using a 50 point scale. The results show that the hotel industry has an average score of 25.4 points compared with 30.6 points for the private sector as a whole.
Only 27% of hotel respondents sought to estimate the cost of fraud or used losses estimates to make judgements about how much to invest in countering fraud. Less than a quarter reviewed the effectiveness of their counter fraud work and only a third (35%) ensured that counter fraud staff regularly refreshed their skills.
Separate work by PKF and the University of Portsmouth indicates that average losses to fraud currently run at 5.7% of an organisation’s expenditure. Applying this figure to the sector’s annual turnover of £40bn, PKF suggests that hotels could be losing over £2bn annually.
Stuart Collins, national hotels partner at PKF, said: ‘Reducing fraud losses is one of the least painful methods for hotels to minimise business expenditure in the current economic environment because fraud costs - unlike expenses relating to staffing, property and utilities - are unnecessary and unproductive. Moreover, as fraud costs have not historically been given a particularly high priority by management, there is significant scope for losses to be reduced in the sector as a whole.’