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Learning Center Experience
By Monica Hubler, Full-Time
Faculty, Kaplan University Published June 2016
Fraud comes in many forms, including bribery, kickbacks, billing fraud,
payroll fraud,and more. Perpetrators plan and commit fraud to
benefit themselves, despite the risk of being caught. Most seek personal reward
such as a bonus for increased earnings per share through increase of net
income, while others may have a plan to ruin the company. However, when it
comes to financial statement fraud, this process will not benefit anyone. It only causes issues with shareholders and potential investors, plus sanctions
from the SEC against those committing the fraud.
One element of financial statement fraud is fictitious revenue and sales,
such as revenues that have not been completed and are not ready to be
recognized. This manipulation involves sending products out that were not
ordered, but were billed. Another method is a phantom revenue posting, a scheme
in which a company will post to revenue items that are under consignment. A
company can also manipulate its assets by stating that equipment is leased as
an operating lease when it is really a capital lease.
Yet another method is misappropriation
of postings of transactions or inclusion of false expenses. This is done to hide
or mask theft or embezzlement and it is done for purely personal reasons. There
are other methods of changing the numbers, such as concealment of liabilities, in
which liabilities are kept off the balance sheet, and overstatement of revenue by
recording those uncertain sales.
Financial fraud is also committed by managers of the company to help
increase the value of the company. This is a concern with the SEC, which is
presently expanding its efforts to prosecute more companies and managers for
When a business assembles its financial statements, it wants to project
itself in the best light possible and entice investors to review and invest.
However, some businesses issue fraudulent financial statements that mislead
investors. The SEC has stepped up their reaction to these fraudulent statements
and the companies who commit fraud. Does anyone remember Enron?
Herrfeldt, B. (2014) What Is Financial Statement
Fraud? Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/about_5061193_financial-statement-fraud.html?ref=Track2&utm_source=ask
Wolfe, M. (2014) Types of Financial Statement Fraud. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/list_7396545_types-financial-statement-fraud.html
Monica Hubler, is a full-time faculty member at Kaplan University. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the view of Kaplan University.
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