World experts are meeting on the Gold Coast this week to discuss the latest techniques to fight fraud – a crime that costs Aussie businesses around $74 billion each year – and $14 billion in Queensland alone.
The Forensic Accounting Teaching and Research Symposium is being held at Bond University as part of Research Week, and involves more than 70 accountants and academics from across the globe.
Bond Business School Assistant Professor, Dr Adrian Gepp, says both the frequency and average cost of fraud had skyrocketed in recent years – with scammers often impersonating company CEOs via email.
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Dr Gepp says many businesses, particularly the smaller ones, were oblivious to the high potential of being targeted.
“A fraud survey by KPMG found that while many businesses (43 per cent) reported being the victims of fraud – only a small number (15 per cent) acknowledged they themselves were at risk. So there’s a disproportionate view of their own exposure to fraud,” he said.
He said that naivety meant many businesses were not prepared to detect and deal with fraud when it happened to them.
“History shows if fraud is detected within six months, then the average loss is $45,000. However, if it goes unnoticed for more than 60 months, the median loss is 18 times higher – a staggering $850,000.”
He encouraged all businesses to acknowledge the risk of fraud, and actively put methods in place to detect it.
“Consider who you do business with, know who has access to each aspect of the business and understand that trust is not a control system,” said Dr Gepp.
The Forensic Accounting Teaching and Research Symposium is being held at Bond University today and tomorrow.