Ethics & Professional Issues | Leadership / Management

Is fraud on the rise again?


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I don't know a single CPA who is resting on his or her ethical laurels these days, but just in case, the folks at Oversight Systems have opened our eyes with a shocking new study.

In it, about 75 percent of respondents say institutional fraud is more common today than in 2002, when the Sarbanes-Oxley Act became the law of the land. Fifty-six percent of respondents say they have personally observed financial misconduct in the past year.

Says Oversight Systems CEO Patrick Taylor: "This survey indicates the checklist approach to compliance is not effectively reducing fraud."

The timing is right, then for the AICPA's Professional Ethics Executive Committee to issue an exposure draft and proposed framework that center on Rule 102, "Integrity and Objectivity," of the AICPA's Code of Professional Conduct. CPAs are invited to submit their comments on the proposals through Aug. 15, 2007.

"The proposed framework provides guidance to members when faced with making decisions on ethical matters that are not explicitly addressed by the Code of Professional Conduct and applies to all members," PEEC states.

What do you think? Is fraud really more prevalent today, in spite of all the new regulations?


Bill Sheridan