In this morning’s Roundup, we told you about the ICAI belly-aching about the Big 4 circumventing the rules in India to the point of extreme annoyance but technically not breaking said rules.
Strangely enough, BusinessWeek has a story today that cites a KPMG report that found that fraud is on the rise in India due not to shifty international accounting cooperatives but rather to, among other things, the pressure of increased competition in the last two years.
As you might expect, fraud due to financial reporting is the biggest problem. The report cited, “weak rules and the inability of authorities to enforce regulation.” Other things mentioned as opportunities for chicanery:
• “Volatile economic conditions”
• “Increasing business and technological complexities”
So does that mean opportunities for fraud are ubiquitous? Do the respondents really believe that India is the only place where this is happening?
And the attitude/lack of self-control part of your triangle:
• “Diminishing ethical values”
• “Failure on part of managers to act against deviations from established policies and processes”
Diminishing ethical values? Deviating from established policies? Again, the respondents can’t think this is unique to India so shall we just assume that it’s more widespread there?
Some other contributing factors cited were “executives vying for higher pay, weak internal controls and increasing competition…for market share.” But wait! KPMG’s survey said that there were “’encouraging signs’ that mechanisms for detection of fraud through internal audits had improved.” That’s nice despite the fact that sounds similar to something that Overstock management said in their earnings call yesterday.
If you have “weak rules” accompanied by spineless bureaucrats that won’t even enforce those rules, of course you’re going to have some problems. ICAI seemingly wants to blame everything on the Big 4 probably because that’s the going trend these days. We’re not saying you can’t throw some blame towards PwC for missing the phantom $1 billion at Satyam but if your financial reporting regulatory infrastructure is akin to the something out of Deadwood, circa 19th Century, then maybe you should be more consider making some fundamental changes.
Fraud Rises in India as Competition Increases, KPMG Study Says [Bloomberg BusinessWeek]