Audit – Sniffing out fraud.

The audit process is the best deterrent and the auditor the most efficient detector of fraud, according to new research.

Findings show the principal cause of fraud is personal gain by management, according to a survey by the ACCA which looked at more than 300,000 British companies. The report showed fraud mostly occurred in the guise of manipulation of financial accounts to disguise, suppress or alter transactions.

Jonathan Beckerlegge, chairman of ACCA’s audit committee, said: ‘From the experience of respondents, it was the auditor who, in the vast majority of cases, discovered fraudulent activity.’

For further information on the survey go to

– The International Auditing Practices Committee will meet in London between 12 and 16 March 2001. The IAPC is expected to discuss the committee’s game plan as it gears up to gain endorsement from Iosco of a single set of global auditing standards.

Last month saw a landmark union between 23 international accountancy firms that joined forces to develop a Global Quality Standard for firms conducting transnational audits.

For news on IAPC, visit

– Former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Paul Volker, has announced a list of 21,000 holders of Swiss bank accounts who are potentially linked to holocaust victims.

The news follows a forensic audit of Swiss banks by Volker, now a trustee of the International Accounting Standards Committee, which began in 1996.

Descendants of holocaust victims who believe accounts on the list belong to them can now claim funds from the banks. The move was made possible through radical changes to Switzerland’s banking secrecy regulations.

For more on Volker, see

Related reading