by John E. Plageman, CPA, CFE, CVA
Fraud exists at every level of our society. No one is immune to the fact that fraud can and will be directed either to them personally or to their business. For the certified fraud and forensic accountants, the demand for our services is at an all-time high. Attorneys, judges and companies of all sizes will sooner or later require the services of a fraud examiner.
Most individuals, who commit fraud, do so when there is opportunity, motivation and rationalization. This is known as the “fraud triangle.” It is generally accepted that a certain element of the population of any given organization is inherently honest. It follows that a certain element of people are inherently dishonest. The remaining element may commit acts of dishonestly if the need and opportunity exist.
No one is immune to the fact that fraud can and will be directed either to them personally or to their business.”
Often, when the services of a fraud and forensic accountant are required, the fraud already exists or has already been committed. For the client, a distinction between financial statement audits and forensic investigations is usually needed. The objective of a financial statement audit is to “obtain reasonable assurance” about whether the financial statements are free from “material misstatements” whether caused by error or fraud. The objective of a forensic investigation is to make a determination about whether fraud exists, regardless of whether it is material or immaterial.
The certified fraud examiners code of professional ethics specifically prohibits statements regarding guilt or innocence, as this is the job of the judge or jury. As certified fraud examiners, our purpose is to conduct our investigation accordingly, and to present only the facts based on our observations. We provide the ammunition for you to build your case.