The Largest Losses: Hiding Fraud in Financial Statements
In a “hidden-in-plain-sight” sense, financial statements have long been used to hide fraud. According to the 2016 ACFE Report to the Nations, financial statement fraud median loss is over $1,000,000 per case. Examples abound where management used “creative accounting” to disguise their fraudulent activities; Enron and HealthSouth are two of many examples. Many who deal with day-to-day accounting processes have little visibility into what is happening behind the scenes, as fraudulent transactions roll up into the financials, and eventually into reports to banks, stakeholders and others. This session will provide a brief overview of how fraud can be disguised in both numbers and words in audited financial statements.