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Prof. Oriol Amat's new book "Detecting Accounting Fraud" examines financial account manipulation and fraud prevention

Prof. Oriol Amat's new book "Detecting Accounting Fraud" examines financial account manipulation and fraud prevention

The book explores how and why company accounts can be falsified, and provides useful techniques in identifying the red flags of account manipulation before it becomes a problem



Detecting Accounting Fraud, by Prof. Oriol Amat

Prof. Oriol Amat, UPF professor of financial economics and accounting, has published a new book titled "Detecting Accounting Fraud" (2019, Wiley Press). The book guides readers through the many reasons of why financial accounts can be manipulated and how fraud is carried out, and recommends several easy to understand methods for managers and professionals that will help detect and prevent account manipulation before it is too late.

Accurate financial information is crucial for companies in making most business decisions. It is therefore essential that company accounts are reliable, otherwise it is possible to be misled or make wrong decisions. All too often, however, there are companies that misrepresent their achievements, exaggerate results, or hide bad outcomes. Such fraud usually ends in accounting scandals that generate great losses for shareholders, banks, employees and other account users. Thus it is necessary to always keep an eye on company accounts with a certain degree of skepticism.

Prof. Amat was inspired to write his latest book after realising that many companies lie with their accounts, and by doing so generate huge losses. He decided to identify and catalog practices in detecting fraud, which will be useful for banking and investment analysts, finance managers, auditors, and members of administration boards or committees, as well as interested lawyers, shareholders, and investors.

A wide variety of warning signs are described in the book, including legal and illegal practices, risky personal and organisational characteristics, and incoherence between operating information and accounting numbers. These are accompanied by cases based on real American, European, and Asian companies. Nearly one hundred real cases are presented, some of them being notable financial and accounting scandals.

One real-world scandal examined took place in Chile at a large department store called La Poñar. The fraud was discovered by a lawyer without any accounting knowledge, showing that the users of accounting and financial information must be more skeptical when they read such information, and reinforcing the fact that before financial and accounting data can be trusted it is important to use basic techniques to verify that information is legitimate.

Prof. Amat is a professor in the Department of Economics and Business and dean of the UPF School of Management. In addition, he is vice-president of the Catalan Accounting Association (ACCID) and associate dean of the Catalan Economists College (Col.legi d'Economistes de Catalunya). Prof. Amat has authored or co-authored more than 20 books on topics of finance, accounting, and business.

"Detecting Accounting Fraud" is available in hardcover or e-book.

Prof. Oriol Amat