According to the ACFE 2006 survey, ten percent of reported occupational fraud cases are financial statement fraud. This is not the most common type of occupational fraud but according the certified fraud examiners (CFEs) it is the most costly; the median loss due to financial statement fraud was $2,000,000 while the median loss for asset misappropriation was $150,000 - thirteen times greater (ACFE, 2006). According to the ACFE 2006 survey the most common manipulations of fraudulent financial reporting are: (1) reporting fictitious or overstated revenues; (2) concealing or understating liabilities or expenses; (3) timing differences recording revenues or expenses in the incorrect period; (4) improperly valuing assets; or (5) failing to disclose significant information (ACFE, 2006; Buckhoff, 2001).
Due to heightened awareness of and increased interest in fraudulent financial reporting, many in the field of accounting and financial fraud have conducted their own research. PricewaterhouseCoopers (2006) 2005 survey found a 140% increase in financial fraud from 2003 and that the average financial fraud was $1.7 million. This is consistent with KPMG’s 2003 survey, which stated that FFR had increased in rate of occurrence from three percent to seven percent at an estimated cost of $250 million (KPMG Forensic, 2003). KPMG compared the $250 million in total losses to medical insurance fraud, which cost $33.7 million (KPMG Forensic, 2003). The ACFE (2006) stated US organisations lost 5% of annual revenues due to fraud. When applied to the estimated 2006 Gross Domestic Product the 5% figure translates to approximately $652 billion in fraud losses (ACFE, 2006). In addition, the ACFE (2006) study found 30% of occupational fraud was committed by employees in the accounting department and 20% were committed by upper management or executives. These violations are material, increasing in frequency, and have a