Auditors’ Responsibilities Today to Detect Fraud Essay

During the past 20 old ages at that place have been an increasing and non-stopping figure of fraud related issues at about any corporation in the United States. Fortunately with the assistance and support of accounting professionals, these deceitful affairs are being reduced with a batch of efficaciousness and effectivity. These accounting professionals, besides known as hearers, possess certain duties to observe fraud and are being considered as cardinal factors for any organisation success at observing every bit good as stoping fraud. “ The effort to carry on a program that provides a positive return on the organisation ‘s investing is critical to the success of the hazard appraisal. ” ( Ramos, 2003 ) Therefore, the subsequent essay will exemplify how the important and imperative undertakings of external hearers, certified public comptrollers ( CPAs ) in the populace sector and internal hearers, work together by taking fraud.


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The undermentioned papers will depict the many duties hearers ‘ have power over in the corporate and legal environment and how these undertakings can be decently implemented. In add-on, how these hearers ‘ duties are being discussed and utilized in today ‘s workplace will besides be discussed. One of import facet that can non be overruled is the fact that the proficiency, accomplishments and experience hearer possess are keys for any successful accomplishment.

“ Merely those organisations that adopt and execute a well-designed attack can guarantee designation of fraud hazard, which, if left unbridled, can finally ensue in the loss of the organisation ‘s assets. ” ( Ramos, 2003 )

What is Fraud?

Fraud is considered as an highly dearly-won job that affects the general populace. The merely, but at the same clip complex procedure of fraud detainment, needs to be considered important for today ‘s organisation. There is an expressed attack called ‘fraud scrutiny ‘ that is practically administered “ to find if fraud has occurred and if so to garner grounds of the offense. ” ( Nelson, n.d. ) Fraud is besides believed as a professional misbehavior or offense therefore the proper scrutiny of such incidents will practically affect a series of reviews every bit good as scrutiny of economic and fiscal studies. Additionally, the act of perpetrating fraud can take many forms and signifiers but is largely hard to separate in position of the fact that fraudsters figure out ways to hedge and overreach Torahs, regulations, ordinances, policies and processs. ” ( Nelson, n.d. )

Hearers in order to observe fraud will hold to presume certain duties that were practically nonexistent until today, but due to the relentless addition of deceitful concern minutess, these undertakings seemed approximately required. Additionally, the hearer is responsible for be aftering the audit procedure construction, how is it traveling to be implemented every bit good as how the results are traveling to be analyzed.

Therefore, one of those processs to observe fraud, called Statement on Auditing Standards ( SAS ) no. 99, “ portrays a procedure in which the hearer gathers information needed to place hazards of stuff misstatement due to fraud ; assesses these hazards after taking into history an rating of the entity ‘s plans and controls ; and responds to the consequences. ” ( Ramos, 2003 ) It is of import that direction know about the different plans and command about the nature of fraud hazard, because it is a manner that hearer gathers information to observe fraud, other signifier to assist the hearer it is to seek information about the being or imaginativeness of fraud.

In other words, the hearer has the duty to cognize how the dealing as a necessary portion of fiscal coverage procedure is controlled and processed and the hearer has the authorization to look into outside of section in direct relation with the fiscal coverage procedure.

The SAS no. 99 gives the hearer the authorization to inquire when they observed a individual in the entity is in fact perpetrating a fraud. Besides this attack allows hearers the right to do different probes that can assist to place or measure hazard of material misstatement due to fraud. Consequently, and harmonizing to Ramos ( 2003 ) , there are different illustrations of this probe as illustrated below:

Categorize the being of the fraud trigon features. ( see illustration 1 for more )

Acknowledge the state of affairss or conditions under which direction has or may rule internal controls.

Understand the concern underlying rule for important unusual dealing.

Value policies and processs related to gross acknowledgment.

Understand the policies, processs and control for entering journal entries or other accommodations.


Illustration 1- The Fraud Triangle Source: Ramos, 2003

External Hearers

SAS no. 99 “ will non really change the hearers ‘ sensing duty but will beef up public presentation demands. ” ( Ramos, 2003 ) In other words, SA no. 99 would, without uncertainties, converse the external hearers ‘ duty. Explicitly said, to set up and put to death the audit to obtain sensible confidence about whether the fiscal statements are free of material misstatement, whether caused by mistake or fraud. ( Ramos, 2003 )

As Ramos ( 2003 ) provinces, “ external hearers might see puting land regulations to assist them accomplish their nonsubjective ” . These hearers need to retrieve that inspirations or suggestions are considered a needed technique and should be applied with a similar class of importance as any other audit process.

For that ground, the followers are some illustrations of attitudes external hearers can implement when executing their undertakings and can besides be highly good ( Ramos, 2003 ) :

Expecting or predict inquiries by labeling them unequal is one certain manner to smother the part of thoughts.

Since the universe of thoughts does non acknowledge rank, experience or compensation degree. Create an environment in which senior squad members portion information without ruling the treatment and junior members feel unafraid lending their ain thoughts.

A brainstorming session is an intuitive, self-generated procedure. Excessive note pickings is a barrier to this procedure.

When persons become personally invested in an thought, they tend to contend for it every bit long as possible. There may be a clip and a topographic point for combating over the cogency of an thought, but a brainstorming session is non one of them.

Certified Public Accountants ( CPAs ) in public pattern

CPAs may be held responsible for a big assortment of antifraud and forensic accounting actions and activities including: “ look intoing suspected fraud, look intoing averments of fraud, developing fraud loss estimations, and many other types of battles. ” ( AICPA, 2002 ) Unfortunately, in many instances where CPAs were fundamentally held accountable for losing fraud in fiscal statements audits, there were many common jobs. Sometimes, these hearers merely failed to follow up on marks or indicants of fraud, and some other times they seemed overly swearing of direction and accepted accounts for exclusions without verifying that they were true. ” The many duties CPAs, particularly in the populace sector, “ include but are non limited to fraud sensing, probe, and bar methods ; analysis and techniques ; cardinal developments in financial-related fraud ; the judicial proceeding procedure ; and research tools and AIDSs. ” ( Ramos, 2003 )

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, besides called AICPA, ( 2002 ) affirms that “ before the Sarbanes-Oxley Act ( SOA ) , the AICPA was responsible through its Auditing Standards Board ( ASB ) in developing auditing criterions that had to be satisfied by public accounting houses. ” Additionally, it is considered that the Security Exchange Commission ( SEC ) merely “ mandated openly traded houses to be audited by public accounting houses to supply sensible confidence of presentation in conformance with by and large accepted accounting rules. ” ( Ramos, 2003 ) Therefore, in carry oning an audit, CPAs houses had to detect by and large accepted auditing criterions as promulgated by the Auditing Standards Board ( ASB ) .

“ One of the most extremely publicised statements on fraud auditing criterions in recent old ages was published in early February of 1997. Statement on Auditing Standards ( SAB ) No. 82, Consideration of Fraud in a Financial Statement Audit, provided counsel to the hearer in the sensing of fiscal statement fraud. ” ( Zikmund, 2008 )

Internal Hearers

In order to be able to properly detect fraud, internal hearers are considered the most dependable in position of the fact that they do non transport “ the potency for significant mulcts, punishments, and loss ” ( Zikmund, 2008 ) that external hearers transmit. Therefore, the internal hearers ‘ duties plays a important function in measuring fraud hazard and these are chiefly focused on fraud hazard appraisal and relief plans. Additionally, “ internal auditing is responsible for measuring whether internal controls are designed to run into their overall aims. ”

Additionally, and as stated by Zikmund ( 2008 ) , “ one of the best attacks utilized by internal hearers is called a four-step procedure that includes measuring the organisation ‘s fraud hazards, placing possible fraud strategies and scenarios, prioritising identified fraud hazards, and measuring mitigating controls. ” In other words,

Measure the organisation ‘s fraud hazard factors

Identify possible fraud strategies

Prioritize identified fraud hazards

Estimate extenuation controls

In other words, “ SAS no. 99 fundamentally requires that hearers confer the likely misstatement in the fiscal records due to fraud before and during the information-gathering procedure. ” ( Ramos, 2003 ) This thought pattern is considered as a needed new construct in the auditing field every bit good as in the acceptance procedure and the end of houses would necessitate to be focused on make up one’s minding how best to implement this demand in pattern.

How Hearers ‘ Duties to Detect Fraud Have Changed Over the Old ages

Over the past decennary or even more, the scrutinizing profession has changed significantly. As Tatum and Munter ( 1998 ) province, “ command and solicitation are now accepted as a manner of life. ” Before there were less instances of fraud therefore the scrutinizing procedure as complex and at the same clip palliating as it is today. “ The Securities Litigation Reform Act ( SLRA ) of 1995 stresses the hearer ‘s duty for the sensing of fraud ; hence, the trouble of concern minutess and corporation constructions has increased significantly. ” ( Tatum and Munter, 1998 )

In fact, due to these alterations, “ the Auditing Standards Board ( ASB ) has found it necessary in recent months to review bing scrutinizing criterions in visible radiation of these radical environmental alterations in which audits are conducted. ” ( Tatum and Munter, 1998 ) In other words, accounting professionals would necessitate to accommodate to certain new regulations and ordinances in order to be able to win at observing fraud.

Officially and lawfully speech production, “ it is good thought-out that a debacle by hearers of any field ( internal, external or CPAs ) to correctly show and pass on a suited attitude sing internal control and the fiscal coverage procedure. ” ( Apostolou and Crumbley, 1990 )

Consequently, and as Apostolou and Crumbley ( 1990 ) detailed, there are precise and highly dependable indexs that might help hearers and these include:

Authority of direction by a individual individual or little group without counterbalancing controls such as effectual inadvertence by the board of managers or audit commission.

New accounting, statutory, or regulative demands that could impair the fiscal stableness or profitableness of the entity.

Organization go oning to use an uneffective accounting, information engineering, or internal auditing staff.

Worsening industry with increasing concern failures and important decreases in client demand.

An uneffective agencies of pass oning and back uping the entity ‘s values or moralss, or communicating of inappropriate values or moralss.

Management puting unduly aggressive fiscal mark and outlooks for operating forces.

Nonfinancial direction ‘s inordinate engagement in, or preoccupation with, the choice of accounting rules or the finding of important estimations.

Previous history of securities jurisprudence misdemeanors or claims against the entity or its senior direction avering fraud or misdemeanors of securities Torahs.

High grade of competition or market impregnation, accompanied by worsening borders.

In add-on, the information required in order to follow with the criterions of the SAS no. 99 extend significantly those of the old criterion, known as SAS no. 82, “ necessitating certification back uping conformity with well all the major demands of the criterion. SAS no. 99 provides a complete, easy-to-understand list of certification demands. ” ( AICPA, 2002 )

This is practically why hearers in the yesteryear were merely able to happen certain sum of deceitful minutess but non rather all of them. In contrast, today hearers are authenticating and formalizing the preciseness of the many fiscal records, non basically looking for fraud, but for dependability merely. They design processs to actively look for fraud in an organisation, and when they find it, they dig deeper to happen all the grounds and construct a instance against the culprits. Harmonizing to the criterion, today hearers ‘ are required to document ( Ramos, 2003 ) :

The consequences of the processs performed to further turn to the hazard of direction override of controls.

The processs performed to obtain information necessary to place and measure the hazards of stuff misstatement due to fraud.

Specific hazards of stuff misstatement due to fraud that were identified and a description of the hearer ‘s response to those hazards.

The treatment among engagement forces in be aftering the audit sing the susceptibleness of the entity ‘s fiscal statements to material misstatement due to fraud, including how and when the treatment occurred, the audit squad members who participated and the topics discussed.

If the hearer has non identified improper gross acknowledgment as a hazard of material misstatement due to fraud in a peculiar circumstance, the grounds back uping that decision.

The nature of the communications about fraud made to direction, the audit commission and others.

Conditionss and analytical relationships that caused the hearer to believe extra auditing processs or other responses were required and any farther responses the hearer concluded were appropriate to turn to such hazards or other conditions.


Figure 1: The Fraud Risks Assessment Process


Unfortunately, deceitful activities have become more and more frequent in today ‘s economic society. Therefore, the use and execution of fraud scrutiny processs by accounting professionals are being considered as a key to success for a yearned first-class result. Hearers ‘ duties today to observe fraud include several good known and winning processs, as mentioned above.

These undertakings are chiefly being performed by accounting professionals, particularly external hearers, Certified Public Accountants ( CPAs ) in public pattern every bit good as Internal Auditors. In other words, fraud scrutiny is today a turning field compared to what it used to be several old ages ago. The complex act of observing fraud includes “ exciting chances since there will ever be a demand for fraud testers and as fraud scrutiny techniques evolve and become more scientific, more and more fraud will be uncovered. ” ( Nelson, n.d. )


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