Fraud can happen to anyone. We would like to think that in a small entity where there is closer management interest, fraud wouldn’t happen. In a not-for-profit entity, we would hope that their charitable mission would mitigate some instance of fraud.  In governmental entities, many would believe there are well established controls and checks and balances to keep fraud from occurring.
In reality, smaller entities, not-for-profit entities and governmental entities all have unique characteristics that make them susceptible to inappropriate activity or fraud. These characteristics pose intriguing questions that we will explore within this segment.
As with any entity, understanding components of the fraud triangle are important to discovering the areas at-risk in your organization.  The fraud triangle depicts three elements that are characteristics of the white-collar fraudster.  Those include pressure, opportunity and rationalization.  In a not-for-profit, governmental or small entity; these components may have a more unique or personal attribute to them.  To mitigate inappropriate activity, you must be able to put yourself in the shoes of the individual who would perpetrate the fraud and ask “Why”.
In this course we explore many facets that make fraud in a not-for-profit, governmental or small business unique from their for-profit counterparts.  We examine the basic characteristics of each of these entities, and then dissect the fraud triangle and examine what unique forces may be at play for these organizations.  We also examine some of the highest risk fraud areas for these organizations and discuss some control alternatives to consider when establishing your fraud fighting processes.
Learning Objectives
  • Explore unique characteristics in the not-for-profit, small entity or governmental entities.
  • Explore unique components of the fraud triangle related to not-for-profit, small entities or governmental entities.
  • Identify the highest risk fraud areas in a not-for-profit, small entity or governmental entity.
  • Identify relevant controls related to high risk fraud areas.
Last updated/reviewed: August 16, 2023

Included In Certifications

This course is included in the following Certification Programs:

15 CoursesNot-For-Profit and Small Business Entities Certification

  1. Introduction to Not-for-Profit Entities
  2. Introduction to Accounting for Not-For-Profit Entities
  3. Identifying and Implementing the Proper Balance of Internal Controls
  4. Segregation of Duties for Core Business Processes
  5. Bookkeeping: Journals, Subsidiary Ledgers and General Ledger
  6. Bookkeeping: Payroll And Expenses
  7. Bookkeeping: Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable And Receipts
  8. Effectively Managing and Controlling Travel and Entertainment (T&E) Expenses
  9. Management Internal Control Essentials
  10. Financial Statement Essentials for Not-for-Profits
  11. Not-for-Profit Financial Statements Part 2
  12. Not for Profit Financials - Focus on Net Assets
  13. Cyber Risk in Small-Medium Entities
  14. Fraud in Small-Medium Entities
  15. Not-For-Profit Accountability and Responsibility
14 Reviews (62 ratings)


Anonymous Author
Explains the unique characteristics that make not-for-profit entities and governmental entities susceptible to inappropriate activity or fraud. Good explanation of the highest risk fraud areas for such entities. Nice examples of control alternatives that can be put into place at such entities to fight fraud.

Anonymous Author
This was a helpful course for someone who volunteers with a small church group to understand what fraud issues might arise for small entities and what can be done to mitigate the risk.

Anonymous Author
Another great course from Lynn Fountain regarding the topic of fraud. Well-organized and moving at a great pace, this is an excellenz course for those involved in such Organizations.

Anonymous Author
The course provided excellent suggestions and guidelines to help mitigate fraud in the NFP/Governmental/Small Entities sectors. Lynn Fountain always does a great job!

Anonymous Author
Excellent overview of fraud in small businesses. Appreciated the examples given and what areas to focus in on to help mitigate potential fraud.

Member's Profile
This course was an adequate overview of the fraud risks in small entities. Some of the test questions were confusing in their wording.

Anonymous Author
Specific examples of considerations to undertake within the each of the components of the fraud triangle are very useful.

Anonymous Author
Great examples of how people who are expected to be "well-intentioned" can mess things up.

Anonymous Author
Interesting and refreshing course. Nothing surprised me. Everyone will benefit from this.

Member's Profile
Good overview of potential areas of fraud in small non-profit and governmental entities.

Anonymous Author
Well organized course and taught very clearly. I would recommend.

Anonymous Author
Good course, lots of risk areas to consider and actions to take.

Member's Profile
Informative material and explanation, a well-rounded course.

Anonymous Author
Comprehensive coverage of subject matter. Well presented.

Course Complexity: Foundational

No advanced preparation or prerequisites are required for this course. However, it is recommended to take the other courses in the series prior to completing this one.

Education Provider Information
Company: Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
Contact: For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .
Instructor for this course
Course Syllabus
  Introduction to Fraud in NFP, Governmental and Small Entities6:01
  NFP Characteristics5:55
  Small Entity Characteristics6:44
  Governmental Characteristics7:17
  Fraud Triangle15:06
  High Risk Fraud Areas10:27
  Revenue Recognition6:00
  Asset Misappropriation / Procurement13:15
  Management Activity6:40
  Fraud in NFP, Governmental and Small Entities Full Video1:45:27
  Slides: Fraud in NFP, Governmental, and Small EntitiesPDF
  Fraud in NFP, Governmental, and Small Entities Glossary/IndexPDF