Services > Whistleblower Systems > Costs
The real cost of any whistleblower system starts after a complaint is received. The complaint intake process costs practically nothing compared to the cost of complaint investigation and resolution.
Fulcrum currently has two pricing plans. Select the one that is best for you.
- We charge a $800 minimum annual fee. When complaints are received, we charge for the time fielding and resolving complaints, billed at our normal hourly rates. Our rates average around $250 per hour. The hourly rate charges are offset against the $800 minimum annual fee. Therefore, if you receive few complaints (which is the case for most of our clients), your total cost will be $800.
- For employers with 1,000 or more employees, we will match your lowest bid from any reliable hotline company. For this matched price, we handle all calls of 10 minutes or less at no additional cost. Any call exceeding 10 minutes occurs because we are gathering information and resolving concerns in a manner that the hotline companies are incapable of doing. Therefore, we bill for the portion of a call that exceeds 10 minutes at our normal hourly rates. We find that most large companies also prefer option #1, however, the cost of this option #2 may be less if you expect to receive a large number of complaints.
Likely Types of Financial Fraud Complaints
Most companies receive very few complaints. The complaints that are received are likely to be one of four types of complaints:
- Prank or nuisance complaints – These types of complaints will likely come from a poorly performing employee who thinks that making a whistleblower complaint will help him save his job. In this case, our skilled accountants can ask the right kind of questions and by the end of the call determine that the complaint isn’t legitimate – either the person didn’t know enough details or wasn’t in a position to learn anything. By using trained accountants you can quickly and easily resolve complaints such as this.
- Well meaning, but ill-informed complaints – will come from well meaning, but ill-informed employees who genuinely believe a financial fraud is being committed. In many cases, these individuals won’t have a good understanding of accounting and may simply be confused. Again, by having someone skilled handling the complaint they can help the employee understand why the suspected financial fraud isn’t a fraud after all. They can work to educate the employee. By using skilled accountants to interface with the employee calls of this nature can quickly and easily be resolved. Most importantly, the employee making the complaint can feel they have been heard and can feel that the case was handled properly.
- Legitimate, but non-serious complaints – will be genuine complaints, but complaints that the company already has policies and procedures in place to handle internally. For instance due to the very vague wording of SOX 301(4), the misreporting of expenses on an employees expense report falls under the provisions of Sarbanes Oxley. Most companies already have policies and procedures in place that deal with these types of fraud. By using trained forensic accountants to handle the initial complaints, all information necessary to facilitate the handling of the matter internally can be gathered during the initial contact.
- Serious claims of financial fraud – legitimate complaints of financial fraud which were the intended purpose of Sarbanes Oxley 301(4). We’ve conducted numerous financial fraud investigations and we’ve learned that the more detailed information you can gather during the initial contact, the faster and cheaper the investigation can be resolved. Using skilled forensic accountants to handle the incoming complaints allows for probing and detailed follow up questions. The more information gathered up front, the better the investigation. Additionally, Sarbanes Oxley provides for severe criminal and civil penalties in the event an employee lodges a retaliation claim. By using an outside third party to handle the complaint from intake to resolution you have an extra layer of protection in the event of a retaliation claim.