Fraud is defined by the Malaysian Approved Standards on Auditing (2001) as: an intentional act by one or more individuals among management, employees, or third parties, which results in a misrepresentation of financial statement. It is believed that fraud is among the most serious corporate problems. Management fraud can be defined as “deliberate fraud committed by management that injures investors and creditors through misleading financial statement” (Eliot and Willingham, 1980). According to Wallace (1995), fraud is “a scheme designed to deceive; it can be accomplished with fictitious documents and representations that support fraudulent financial statements”. The study of Vanasco (1998) on several fraud cases documented that cash, inventory, and related party transactions are more prone to fraud. Losses can occur in almost any area from cash to accounts receivable, expenditures and inventory losses (Spathis, 2002).
New Straits times (2001), reported that more than 60% of Malaysian listed companies surveyed had experienced some form of fraud. It was found that almost a quarter were found to have lost more than RM1 million each to fraud. However, there is no information or formal reports on the number of business failures that are caused by fraud. In Malaysia, for example, there were several cases involving public listed companies fraud schemes such as misappropriation of funds, submitting false statements to the Malaysian Securities Exchange Berhad (now known as Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad), defrauding investors and other types of offences. Based on the Enforcement Related Press Releases produced by Securities Commission of Malaysia website, it is observed that most of the convicted case and the enforcement action taken included the top management personnel of the convicted listed companies. Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director, Chief Financial Controller were among persons convicted for misconduct. As such, accountability by all parties especially the board of directors play an important role in order for companies to reduce the number of financial fraud cases. This aspect is directly related to corporate governance good practices as stakeholders will be satisfied with all the information disclosed by the company that they have interest in. Accountability is a key point of interest in corporate governance and this also takes prominence in addressing issues relating to ethical conduct or behaviour.
Adopted from 'Forensic Accounting and Management Case Studies',book by Azmi Abdul Hamid and Rozainun Abdul Aziz