Risk & Compliance

Deception Perception

Corporate fraudsters may be hard to detect, but they're most likely to be found on the accounting staff.
CFO StaffSeptember 1, 2008

From financial-statement shenanigans to fraudulent billing schemes, corporate frauds can be elusive, to say the least. Fraudsters usually operate alone, rarely have criminal records, and are nearly as likely to be female as male. No wonder the typical case persists two full years. Finance executives would do well to be on the alert, though: accounting staff are the most likely offenders, according to an analysis by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners of 959 recent frauds. Here are some fraud factoids from the report:

46% — Percentage of frauds detected by a tip
20% — Percentage found by accident
9% — Percentage discovered by external auditors

$278,000 — Median loss associated with frauds at private companies
$142,000 — Median loss at public companies

29% — Percentage of frauds committed by accounting staff
2% — Percentage committed by IT staff

$250,000 — Median loss associated with male fraudsters
$110,000 — Median loss associated with female fraudsters

41% — Percentage of frauds committed by employees earning less than $50,000
10% — Percentage by employees earning more than $200,000