Whistle Blowers Detect 30% of Company Fraud Incidents

October 16, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Nearly 30% of incidents of company fraud are detected by whistle-blower hotlines and internal tipoffs, while 14% are detected by external sources, according to a poll by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

According to the poll of 5,400 executives, the average loss per company from fraud in the past two years was about $2.42 million, compared with $1.73 million during 2003 to 2005.

“A big reason for the cost increase is that more and more companies are doing business in the emerging markets, and economic crime is more expensive in those areas,” Steven Skalak, global investigations leader at PwC, told Reuters. “As more people do business on a transnational level, where they perceive the best growth opportunities, they are exposing themselves to greater and greater risk.”

The internal audit department was the second-biggest fraud detector, detecting about 19% of all frauds, compared to 26% of frauds in a 2005 survey.

More than 43% of executives say their company had experienced at least one significant economic crime during the previous two years, down slightly from 45% in the 2005 survey, but up from 37% in 2003.

The most common crimes mentioned in the latest survey included property theft, money laundering, accounting fraud, bribery and copyright infringement.