Magazine article Strategic Finance

Dealing with Fraud

Magazine article Strategic Finance

Dealing with Fraud

Article excerpt

Accountants generally aren't forgiving of ethical lapses. As professionals--and certainly as IMA[R] members--we adhere to a clear code of ethical professional practice and take those guidelines very seriously. But not everyone is bound by the ethical moorings of our profession, and fraud, in its many guises, occurs every day. Accountants would do well to be aware of this and know what to do if a fraud is suspected or perpetrated.

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This is one of the key points of Stephen Pedneault's book, Anatomy of a Fraud Investigation. One part true-story crime drama and one part fraud reference book, Pedneault's book takes the reader through an entire fraud investigation, following the same principles as the old television show Dragnet: just the facts, ma'am, with names changed to protect the innocent and the guilty.

Anatomy of a Fraud Investigation reads like a novel, but it's also interspersed with learning points and fraud facts that are boxed-off for easy recognition and to separate them from the story. The story is approximately 75% of the book, with the learning points and fraud facts comprising the remaining 25%.

Any reader looking for a crash course in fraud and fraud prevention could read through the learning points and fraud facts in a couple of hours and walk away understanding a great deal more about fraud and investigating fraud. Some of the facts that stood out to me were how fraud is generally detected: 46% by an anonymous tip and 20% by accident. …

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