Business fraud will grow, say auditors

Almost nine out of 10 auditors expect corporate fraud to increase over the next five years because of lower standards of personal ethics, downsizing and the pressure on individuals to perform.

A survey published this week found that 26 per cent of respondents to a survey of readers of Accountancy Age magazine expected fraud to grow through a reliance on computers, while 68 per cent identified misrepresentation of results to be the area of fraud that would have the greatest impact on UK companies.

The respondents had little faith in a regulator with the power to investigate and levy fines on corporates and individuals, such as that proposed by the Labour Party.

More than 55 per cent of those who replied to the survey thought such a body would have no effect.