Research Findings

Which fraud detection procedures are most often performed?

This column provides an outlet for some new research into fraud and related studies. The ACFE doesn't necessarily vouch for the methods and results of any research in these columns. This material is food for thought and discussion. — ed.

Every fraud has its unique features. Therefore, every fraud examination will have its differences. However, commonalities might also exist — especially the detection procedures and investigation techniques. Certainly, we've taught that to our students through the years. We wanted to explore those commonalities. We wanted to discover those fraud procedures that, by and large, fraud examiners perceive as most useful and determine if a "list of procedures" exists for a typical fraud examination. Those were our two areas of interest as we began a quest to survey fraud examiners about how they uncover fraud.

Discovering a common set of procedures and perceptions for different fraud examination techniques could be useful in many ways. Fraud examiners could compare their procedures against this "industry standard," so to speak. Perhaps fraud examiners are overusing, underusing or not even considering certain methods at all.

We can also make the same comparison to evaluate the fraud detection efforts of others, especially when the evaluators don't have direct experience in the field of fraud detection. Finally, finding a common set of fraud detection procedures could inform students and educators of the relative importance of such procedures and facilitate the training of future fraud examiners. These are the things we wanted to discover from fraud examiners through our survey.


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