New ACFE Report Indicates Occupational Fraud Persists Globally

Worldwide, organizations lose an estimated 5 percent of their annual revenues—possibly more than $3.5 trillion—to fraud each year, according to the Austin, Texas-based Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) 2012 Report to the Nations.

Small businesses, many of which lack sophisticated systems to detect and thwart fraud, are particularly vulnerable to occupational fraud, which is defined as schemes in which an employee abuses the trust placed in him or her by an employer for personal gain. This is “a threat faced by all organizations worldwide,” said the report, a new version of which is issued every other year.

“As in previous years, what is perhaps the most striking about the data we gathered is how consistent the patterns of fraud are around the globe and over time,” wrote James D. Ratley, ACFE’s president and CEO, in the latest report.