December 2000

Profiling Financial Fraud

This month’s installment in The CPA Journal’s ongoing Millennium Series investigates fraudulent financial reporting and finds patterns that auditors can use to prevent problems before they happen. A recent study by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) identified six areas where fraudulent financial reporting problems were most commonly found.

Understanding these characteristics and patterns can help auditors reduce their possible exposure to fraudulent financial reporting. Every aspect of the audit process is now under increased regulatory and public scrutiny. A systematic way to know “what to look for”—based on more than the audit team’s analysis and intuition—can make a big difference for both the auditor and the client.

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