On Fraud and CPAs

BY MARK R. KOLMAN

I enjoyed reading “To Catch a Thief” ( JofA, Mar.00, page 43) because the information is presented in a way that’s particularly accessible to CPAs. Also, the article underscores the gap between the limited work that CPAs can do to find fraud and what people believe they can do.

Most people outside the public accounting profession would assume the interrogation skills described in the article are near-instinctive abilities held by every CPA and that he or she is an expert in finding and investigating fraud. In reality, as a profession, we CPAs do not have the skills or the focus needed to recognize the human indicators of fraud or to properly investigate them.

The summary of fraud interview questions designed to uncover possible areas of concern is the type of information missing from most accounting literature, including that which deals with the CPA’s responsibility for detecting fraud.

Thanks for a good “written seminar.”

Mark R. Kolman, CPA, CIA, CFE
St. Petersburg, Florida

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