Where was the fraud committed?
According to the ACFE report, asset misappropriation schemes were the most common form of fraud, representing 90 percent of
cases. Our findings were similar. Roughly 50 percent of respondents indicated that fraud was committed in the area of cash,
while 43 percent indicated that fraud was committed in the area of inventory.
Other areas in which fraud was committed at the practice included:
> Treating friends' animals for free or deeply discounted
> Theft of other employees' cash or personal effects
> Stealing controlled substances
> Redeeming vendor rewards for personal gain
> Misappropriation of production credit from other service providers.
Identifying the perpetrator
A majority of the survey respondents who were victims of fraud (60.5 percent) identified the fraudster, but did not prosecute.
The thief or embezzler is then free to continue stealing from his or her future employers. However, 27.4 percent of respondents
indicated that the fraudster was identified and prosecuted, sending a strong message that stealing is a serious crime.
How was the fraud discovered?
In our survey, the most common way fraud was discovered was in an internal control audit (38.3 percent), underscoring the
importance of regularly reviewing your procedures. Other common ways that fraud was discovered include: owner suspicion leading
to investigation (36.5 percent), missing records and/or destruction/tampering (20.9 percent) or a tip or complaint was investigated
Join me next time for more on fraud and how to prevent it.
Dr. Heinke is owner of Marsha L. Heinke, CPA, Inc., and can be reached at (440) 926-3800 or via e-mail at MHeinke@VPMP.net
For a complete list of articles by Dr. Heinke, visit