It’s a five-letter word that puts every accountant on notice: Fraud. Even hearing the word brings up all kinds of questions and thoughts, perhaps harkening back to the days that spawned Sarbanes-Oxley and thereafter.
Or, it could be that accounting professionals see themselves as defenders against such activity, that they could never be accused of “that word.” The fact is, it happens and it’s not always your fault in the traditional sense. Take for example, often times during the audit processes the simple exchange of documents between parties clearly need to evolve and can easily lead a firm open to fraudulent activity.
The overused phrase “you don’t know what you don’t know” rings the truest when we even begin to discuss the idea that a CPA firm could be subject to fraud in relation to an audit. The fact is, the majority of CPAs go about their work ethically and would expect (and hope) the financial information shared by their clients is what they say it is.
At the end of the day, chances are you don’t realize how prevalent this type of misrepresentation can be.
But what to do about it?
Well, for one, AccountingWEB and CPA.com have teamed up to help you assess your firm’s risk and the impact of audit fraud. As such, we are building a Risk Assessment Guide that will hopefully give you some of the tools and answers you require to abate the chances of audit fraud. Here’s how you can help:
Take a few moments of your time to answer this brief, but anonymous, survey. Your feedback will help shape our upcoming Risk Assessment Guide which, again, we hope, will help you better understand your role, as well as clarify some of the uncertainties you and your colleagues may face.