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Internal Control: Anti-Fraud Controls

Updated: Jan 2



In the last few years, a new type of internal control has emerged, sometimes called anti-fraud controls.


Since the vast majority of sizable frauds tend to involve senior management, establishing strong anti-fraud programs and controls is considered a healthy part of the control environment in larger entities.


Anti-fraud controls can be likened to speed bumps designed to slow down traffic but not stop it altogether.


Anti-fraud controls are designed to deter bad behaviour before it happens, but they can never stop it entirely.


Anti-fraud controls are particularly relevant for larger entities but can also be designed to discourage fraud in smaller entities.


They may not prevent fraud from occurring, but they do provide a powerful disincentive; they cause the perpetrators to think carefully about the repercussions of their actions.


Anti-fraud controls can be designed to address all five internal control components.


However, in relation to risks of material misstatement in the financial statements, special emphasis is placed on the tone set at the top of the entity.


This addresses the attitudes and actions of management toward control and is part of the control environment that influences all personnel's control consciousness.


A good “tone at the top” is considered the most effective anti-fraud control.


Two examples of anti-fraud controls applicable to smaller entities include:


Journal entries


Managers have often used non-routine journal entries to commit fraud.


A policy that non-routine journal entries (over a specified amount) must be supported by an explanation and a manager’s signature (indicating approval) is a simple anti-fraud control that can be implemented in any size entity.


Such a policy empowers the entity’s accountant to always ask the manager (requesting an entry) for an explanation and approval.


This will not necessarily stop a senior manager from demanding an inappropriate entry be made. Still, the thought of having to document the approval and provide an explanation physically may be enough to deter the request from ever being made in the first place.


If it does not deter the request, the auditor may notice that the entry was not approved and ask why. This could then lead to further investigation.


Segregation of duties


In smaller entities, the accountant or bookkeeper is often in a trusted position, with minimal supervision and ample opportunity to commit fraud.


One possible (but somewhat costly) anti-fraud control would be to hire a part-time bookkeeper to take over that person’s job for at least one or more weeks per year, such as when the accountant is on holiday or performing other tasks.


The policy of employing a replacement could deter the bookkeeper from committing fraud at all. If fraud is already occurring, the replacement policy might provide an opportunity to detect it.

在过去的几年里,出现了一种新的内部控制类型,有时被称为反欺诈控制。


由于绝大多数大型欺诈行为往往涉及高级管理层,建立强有力的反欺诈计划和控制被认为是大型实体控制环境中的一个健康部分。


反舞弊控制可以比喻为减速带,旨在减缓交通,但不是完全停止。


反舞弊控制的目的是在不良行为发生之前加以阻止,但它们永远不可能完全阻止它。


反欺诈控制与大型实体特别相关,但也可以设计成阻止小型实体的欺诈。


它们可能无法阻止欺诈行为的发生,但它们确实提供了一个强有力的抑制因素;它们使犯罪者仔细思考其行为的影响。

反欺诈控制的设计可以解决所有五个内部控制组成部分。


然而,就财务报表中的重大错报风险而言,要特别强调实体高层的基调。


这涉及管理层对控制的态度和行动,是影响所有人员控制意识的控制环境的一部分。


一个好的 "高层基调 "被认为是最有效的反舞弊控制。


适用于小型实体的反舞弊控制的两个例子包括:-


日记账目


管理人员经常利用非程序性的日记账来进行欺诈。


一项政策规定,非例行的分录(超过规定的金额)必须有解释和经理的签字(表示批准),这是一个简单的反舞弊控制,可以在任何规模的实体中实施。


这样的政策使实体的会计人员能够始终要求经理(要求入账)作出解释和批准。


这不一定能阻止高级经理人要求做一个不恰当的分录。但是,一想到必须记录批准和提供解释,可能就足以阻止他们首先提出要求。


如果它没有阻止请求,审计师可能会注意到该条目没有被批准,并询问原因。这可能会导致进一步的调查。

职责分离


在较小的实体中,会计或簿记员往往处于一个受信任的位置,监督最少,有充分的机会进行欺诈。


一个可能的(但有点昂贵的)反欺诈控制是雇用一个兼职记账员,每年至少有一个或多个星期接管该人的工作,比如当会计在休假或执行其他任务时。


雇佣替代者的政策可以从根本上阻止记账员进行欺诈,如果欺诈已经发生,替代者政策可能会提供一个机会来发现它。


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