Every two years the ACFE undertakes a survey on fraud around the globe¹. The data presented in the 2012 Report is based on 1,388 cases of occupational fraud that were reported by the Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE’s) who investigated them. The frauds occurred in nearly 100 countries on six continents, (including Australia) and offer readers an interesting insight into the global nature of occupational fraud². Whilst, the full report can be accessed here, I have set out a summary of the report’s major findings below for your information:

  • Organisations lose an estimated 5% of total revenue to fraud each year,
  • The median loss caused by occupational fraudis $140,000,
  • More than 20% of the reported losses exceeded $1 million,
  • The frauds had been undertaken for an average of 18 months before being detected,
  • Asset misappropriation schemes were by far the most common type of occupational fraud, comprising 87% of the cases reported with a medium loss of $120,000,
  • Financial statement fraud schemes represented 8% of the cases in the study,but caused the greatest median loss at $1 million,
  • Occupational fraud is more likely to be detected by a tip off than by any other method,
  • Corruption and billing schemes pose the greatest risks to organizations throughout the world. For all geographic regions, these two scheme types comprised more than 50% of the frauds reported,
  • Occupational fraud is a significant threat to small businesses – suffering the largest median losses,
  1. http://www.acfe.com/
  2. The use of one’s occupation for personal enrichment through the deliberate misuse or misapplication of the employing organization’s resources or assets
Steven Ponsonby is a Chartered Accountant FCA, a Certified Fraud Examiner CFE and Insolvency Practitioner RITP and is the founding Director of Forensic Accounting Pty Ltd, a leading independent forensic accounting practice, providing forensic accounting services and expertise to a broad spectrum of clients across Australia.

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