Financial Statement Fraud Risk Factors of Fraud Triangle: Evidence From Indonesia Yusrianti International Journal of Financial Research

Financial Statement Fraud

By hiding its losses, Enron projected an image of solvency and success that was incompatible with its true fiscal situation. The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged the former CEO and CFO of FTE Networks Inc., a network infrastructure company formerly based in Naples, Florida, with conducting a multi-year accounting fraud. Wolfe & Hermanson found that changing top management positions such as directors may indicate fraud. Making changes in the makeup of the directors is seen as a company’s effort to remove directors who are viewed as being aware of fraudulent practices in the company. It is considered that the changing of directors will require some time for adaptation so that the initial performance is not optimal.

What is financial statement fraud Acfe?

Financial statement fraud is the deliberate misrepresentation of the financial condition of an enterprise accomplished through the intentional misstatement or omission of amounts or disclosures in the financial statements to deceive financial statement users.

This can take several forms, including sales that are currently being negotiated or sales that are expected for the next quarter. This form of fraud is closely related to the recording of false revenues. Like false revenues, this form of fraud is designed to make the company appear more profitable than is the case. According to a global survey by The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners in 2020, Financial Statement Fraud is the rarest form of fraud, detected in only 10% of cases. When detected, however, fraudulent reporting is the most impactful fraud, with a median loss of $954,000. By contrast, the most prevalent type of fraud, asset misappropriation, accounted for 85% of all cases with a median loss of a mere $100,000. Simply put, financial statement fraud is when businesses attempt to appear more profitable than they are by forging their financial statements.

Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues (Print ISSN: 1544-0036; Online ISSN: 1544-

Immediately before the daily overdraft report was generated, Kissick had funds transferred from an investor funding account into the overdrawn operating account; she then reversed the process after the report was generated, thus keeping the overdraft off the report. By late 2003, the amount of the concealed overdraft grew to $120 million, and the second phase of the fraud began. Accounts receivable are amounts that are due to the business, and that are expected to be paid. This makes it a flexible concept as the expectation of payment is subjective. This practice improves the balance sheet as the asset stays on the balance sheet and the bad debt expenses is not recorded. If sales are recorded when orders are placed by suppliers, fictitious orders may be created.

  • Financial fraud is also committed by managers of a company to help increase the value of the company.
  • To postpone the expenses, the receipt of the invoice is not recognized and may be held in an Inbox until the start of the new period.
  • One of the most serious forms of financial statement fraud is when statements are altered to mask theft or embezzlement.
  • Journal entries or other adjustments processed outside the normal course of business.
  • Hence, the second hypothesis can be formulated, namely the higher the characteristics of the industry or the perfect condition of a company operate in the industry, the lower the occurrence of financial reports which are fraudulent.

“EisnerAmper” is the brand name under which EisnerAmper LLP and Eisner Advisory Group LLC, independently owned entities, provide professional services in an alternative practice structure in accordance with applicable professional standards. EisnerAmper LLP is a licensed CPA firm that provides attest services, and Eisner Advisory Group LLC and its subsidiary entities provide tax and business consulting services. Unsavvy or unalert gatekeepers such as auditors or the board of directors. One of the best things you can do internally is segregate accounting duties at your business. Separate the record keeping, authorization, and review functions in the accounting process. Financial fraud is also committed by managers of a company to help increase the value of the company. The motivation is to project the company in the best light possible to entice investors to review and invest.

Detecting Financial Statement Fraud

Financial Services Authority is likely to fine and prosecute the director of a company as a perpetrator rather than a corporation as a legal entity. While companies strive to implement internal audits to detect reporting red flags, most of these methods remain manual to this day.

EisnerAmper LLP and Eisner Advisory Group LLC practice as an alternative practice structure in accordance with the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and applicable law, regulations and professional standards. EisnerAmper LLP is a licensed independent CPA firm that provides attest services to its clients, and Eisner Advisory Group LLC and its subsidiary entities provide tax and business consulting services to their clients. Eisner Advisory Group LLC and its subsidiary entities are not licensed CPA firms. The entities falling under the EisnerAmper brand are independently owned and are not liable for the services provided by any other entity providing services under the EisnerAmper brand.

The easiest way to conceal liabilities is to simply fail to record them. Companies with lax internal controls, manual accounting systems or dishonest and overly aggressive leaders are more likely to fall prey.


A good company tends to restrain and reduce the company’s inventory while raising the company’s cash flow receipts (Skousen et al., 2009). Skousen et al. measure the characteristics of the industry by the means of the ratio of changes in total inventories as well as in total accounts receivable. Previous research carried out by Putriasih also revealed how the industry’s characteristics positively influence the detection of financial reports which are fraudulent. Hence, the second hypothesis can be formulated, namely the higher the characteristics of the industry or the perfect condition of a company operate in the industry, the lower the occurrence of financial reports which are fraudulent.

Financial Statement Fraud

Many investors and advisors rely on quarterly or monthly results produced by a company, particularly public companies. Company officers know that special attention is paid to these results and some of them may do everything they can to achieve the desired results. This is one of the most common expense frauds which involves submitting a false claim to the employer.

We Agree Payroll Fraud is a Cause of Concern

The pandemic of COVID 19 causes a slowdown in various sectors of the economy . Seetharaman stated that the pandemic impacts caused widespread business stoppages and, a temporary decline in the aggregate supply of consumption and investment reduced demand for goods and services. These caused the company to take steps to maintain company’s performance. High pressure in maintaining image and performance, has caused the company should do everything possible for them. One of the illegal ways that can be done is by manipulating the financial reports (Septriyani & Handayani, 2018).

Requesting that inventories be counted at the end of the reporting period or on a date closer to period end to minimize the risk of manipulation of balances in the period between the date of completion of the count and the end of the reporting period. Another method is a phantom revenue posting, a scheme in which a company will post to revenue items that are under consignment. The perpetrator may post sales before they are made or prior to payment, reinvoice past due accounts, or prebill for future sales. The fraud triangle has been challenged as dated, incomplete, and composed of elements that, other than opportunity, are largely unobservable before a fraud occurs. The methodological flaw is that the individuals studied had already engaged in fraudulent behavior; thus, the research results cannot prove that all people experiencing the three conditions will commit fraud, and there are frequent false positives. Allied leased a portion of the tank farm to a field warehousing subsidiary of American Express, which issued warehouse receipts for quantities of stored oil.

What is Third Party Fraud?

In addition, an auditor may not discover the existence of a modification of documentation through a side agreement that management or a third party has not disclosed. Prevention of financial statement fraud is most effective with a strong team. This team would consist of an audit committee and/or board of directors who set the right tone at the top and permeate an ethical culture throughout the organization.

Are financial statements confidential?

Your financial statements, the terms of your other contracts, and perhaps an option-to-purchase on some very valuable land: They also constitute confidential trade secrets you don't want others knowing about or stealing.

The matrix correlation for independent variables showed an absent of high correlation value between independent variables which is not more than 0.80. Thus, this suggests that the data analyzed in the present study do not suffer from a heteroscedasticity problem. Examining financial reports which are fraudulent in the present study involves using the fraud score model put forward by Dechow et al. . Skousen et al. explained that “the F-score model is the sum of two variables, i.e., the accrual quality and financial performance”. This is assessed as the presence of arrogance in the CEO (Yusof & Simon, 2015). This agrees with a study carried out by Bawakes et al. ; Setiawati & Baningrum which show fraudulent financial reports are significantly affected by how often the images of the CEO appear. This is because the amount of the CEO’s photos shown in the yearly reports of an institution can suggest how arrogant and superior, they may be perceived.

Companies should regularly test their financial statements for accuracy to make sure their internal controls are effectively preventing fraud. A deep dive into the financial information can surface weaknesses in the internal controls that lead to corrective measures.

This is done to hide or mask theft or embezzlement, and it is usually done for purely personal reasons. There are other methods of changing the numbers, such as concealment of liabilities, in which liabilities are kept off the balance sheet, and overstatement of revenue by recording those uncertain sales. are committed within the business, not on the business. The best way of preventing or detecting these frauds is a strong internal and independent audit function. Internal and independent can seem contradictory, but it is an idea that must become a reality.

Financial Statement Fraud

1Management incentive plans may be contingent upon achieving targets relating only to certain accounts or selected activities of the entity, even though the related accounts or activities may not be material to the entity as a whole. Inadequate access controls over automated records, including controls over and review of computer systems event logs. A retrospective review of similar management judgments and assumptions applied in prior periods (see paragraphs .63 through .65) may also provide insight about the reasonableness of judgments and assumptions supporting management estimates.

Fraud and Internal Audit (Part 1 of a Series of

Even though these proposals place more responsibility on the auditing company, a survey conducted by the NCFFR shows that most fraud is carried out by those inside the reporting company. Expanding internal auditing controls and increasing sanctions against those within the company who perpetuate financial statement fraud would be effective. Several other cost-effective recommendations are given, along with the observation that current levels of financial statement fraud do not require wide-ranging changes in the accounting profession. The primary responsibility for detection of financial statement fraud resides with company management. Prevention of fraud is most effective with a strong team consisting of an audit committee comprising internal and external auditors and a board of directors who set a tone for ethics at the organization.

If the consequences of not getting the results are too great, improper or illegal behavior will increase. Corporate ideals have a large role to play in deterring these activities, by making them unnecessary. Moving reserves from the balance sheet reduces expense accounts on the profit and loss account. Not writing off assets when appropriate – usually debtors that become uncollectible, or investments, stock or other assets that will depreciate or fluctuate in value – keeps an ‘asset’ in the balance sheet when it has no or little worth. Capitalizing expenses and writing them off slowly creates an asset that does not exist and reduces the expenses in the current period. These capitalized expenses can then be written off over an extended period spreading the expense. A sales may be recorded when an order is received even if the order is not to be filled, and the actual sale will occur, until a later period.

Warning Signs of Fraud

“Accurate information also improves the quality of markets by allowing markets to discover the true price at which specific securities trade” . The findings of the present study also bear resemblance with the findings of a study carried out by Kusumaningrum & Murtanto ; Suparmini et al. which contend that the characteristics of the industry poses effects on fraudulent financial statements. Weak controls will provide a great opportunity for fraud to occur (Ariyanto et al., 2020; Donelson et al., 2017). The purpose of this study is to examine the risk factors that influencing financial statement fraud. The company indicated by Fraud was collected from Bapepam and OJK RI. Data were tested using logistic regression analysis and different T-tests of 28 committed fraud companies and 28 companies that did not commit fraud. The results showed that only some variables had a significant effect on financial statement fraud, namely financial stability , Financial Target , and the Nature of Industry . The results also show that company size and industry risk do not moderate the fraud factors on financial statement fraud.

  • “They’ll make revenues look better, assets look better, in order to get the loan,” she says.
  • Simply put, financial statement fraud is when businesses attempt to appear more profitable than they are by forging their financial statements.
  • By recording revenue early, a dishonest business seller or an employee under pressure to meet financial benchmarks can significantly distort profits.
  • Financial statements are used by shareholders to measure the performance of the firm versus expectations.
  • Key to this is segregation of duties, which involves dividing responsibility for bookkeeping, deposits, reporting and auditing between different people to reduce the temptation and opportunities to commit fraud.
  • While fraud detection and the ability to quickly perceive the warning signs of fraud are helpful during and after the malfeasance, companies should put systems in place to prevent financial statement fraud from happening at all.
  • Weak internal corporate governance, which increases the likelihood of financial statement fraud occurring unchecked.

Out of the three major types of occupational fraud, financial statement fraud is the least common in terms of occurrence but has the highest monetary impact on the organization. The amount of the actual fraud often pales in comparison to the loss in the market value due to the negative publicity received and reputational impact it has on the organization. As alleged, Palleschi and Lethem misled in-house accounting personnel and FTE’s outside auditor about certain material terms of the notes, which were not properly accounted for or disclosed in FTE’s financial statements. The complaint also alleges that Palleschi and Lethem inflated FTE’s revenue by directing FTE to improperly recognize revenue and related accounts receivable for nonexistent construction projects. According to the complaint, Palleschi and Lethem misappropriated millions of dollars of company funds to pay for personal expenses, including luxury car leases, private jet services, and unauthorized salary increases. By reviewing the annual plans to make sure that detective controls are as strict as preventive measures.

Increase awareness of external-party fraud.

PNB’s LOU process was ripe for fraud because SWIFT and the internal authorization and recording system for LOUs were separate and not reconciled, and basic controls such as separation of functions and mandatory vacations were not enforced. Petrobras also had a lack of separation of the functions of awarding and approving contracts and amending contracts, as well as failure to enforce procurement policies and procedures on bidding and contracting. Management and auditors can learn many lessons from the major external-party frauds recounted above, as well as the similar, more frequent frauds of lesser scale. These lessons are summarized inExhibit 2and explained in more detail below. Control deficiencies in Petrobras’s procurement policies and procedures included significant incompatible functions or lack of segregation of duties.

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