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Lax audits could lead to an increase in company fraud

Lax audits could lead to an increase in company fraud

Contractor accountants may be interested in the warning from the CEO of BDO Global, Jeremy Newman. He has cautioned that auditors may be cutting corners because of increased competition and cost pressures.

In his blog, Newman pointed out that extreme pressure to reduce costs could encourage auditors to cut corners and less stringent audits have the potential to lead to more fraud.

He says that whilst there has been a drop in demand for audit services, this should be offset by changing accounting standards, additional regulation and high quality audits.

Recruitment levels have fallen by more than the demand for audit services and the economic law of supply and demand should have led to a price increase and yet that has not happened and costs are decreasing.

The potential for an increase in company fraud should cause concern as research, also from BDO, reveals that the value of fraud in the first half of 2010 has risen to more than £1bn.

The head of BDO’s fraud services, Simon Bevan, said that during the recession there was a rise in the number of managers setting up companies within companies and diverting lucrative contracts to third parties. Insider dealing also rose.

Internal management originates 16% of reported fraud whilst another 17% is instigated by suppliers and third party customers. The finance and insurance sectors are the worst offenders with almost 50% of all fraud cases being committed by those 2 industries.

In the past year the average fraud has risen by almost £1m to £6m. Bevan said that fraud is now as prevalent as it has ever been and companies need to be even more vigilant during recessionary times.

© 2010 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Image: Caught in the act by saxonmoseley

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