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Fraud a serious issue for NZ organisations

KPMG New Zealand – Auckland

2 December 2004

Fraud a serious issue for New Zealand organisations

KPMG today released the New Zealand statistics from its Australasian fraud survey

New Zealand organisations lost in excess of $34 million to fraud during the period April 2002 to March 2004, according to KPMG’s 2004 Fraud Survey, with 56 percent of the New Zealand organisations surveyed reported having experienced a fraud.

Adjusting for outlying reports, New Zealand organisations who reported a fraud suffered an average loss of $809,000.

The New Zealand fraud statistics are part of the Australia and New Zealand Fraud survey statistics released by KPMG in early November 2004.

Mark Leishman, Associate Director with the New Zealand KPMG forensic practice, said the results clearly show that fraud is an issue for New Zealand organisations. “Even though the results for New Zealand show a lower than average loss per New Zealand organisation when compared to the overall reported average loss of $2.1 million, the number of New Zealand organisations which experienced a fraud was higher than the overall survey average of 45 percent,” he said.

Although external parties accounted for a large amount of the frauds on New Zealand organisations, both in terms of numbers committed and dollar amounts defrauded, the single biggest frauds were committed by people internal to the organisation. This meant the profile of the typical fraudster for New Zealand was consistent with the overall fraud survey profile, being male, 33 years old from within the organisation and with no prior history of dishonesty. “New Zealand organisations that fail to take a proactive approach to fraud control are prime targets for fraudsters – especially given the likelihood that the perpetrator of a major fraud will come from within the organisation.” said Mr Leishman.

The typical New Zealand fraudster was motivated by greed in 83 percent of cases, way above the survey average of 38 percent. Lifestyle was the next highest motivator at ten percent (survey average 18 percent)

Internal controls detected 36 percent of the New Zealand frauds and the overriding of internal controls was an important contributing factor also in 36 percent of the reported cases. “Clearly, effective internal controls are crucial to preventing and detecting fraud,” said Mr Leishman

About the KPMG Fraud Survey If you would like a copy of the survey emailed to you please contact Sheryl Kurte at skurte@consultus.co.nz

The findings of the Fraud Survey 2004 were derived from 491 responses received to a survey questionnaire sent in June 2004 to 2164 of Australia’s and New Zealand’s largest organisations across public and private sectors. The questionnaire, consisting of 54 questions, sought information about fraud incidents within the respondents’ business operations during the period April 2002 to March 2004.

ENDS

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