Bentley University Receives US$50,000 Grant from KPMG to Explore a Fraud Knowledge Management Tool for Auditors
Bentley University received a US$50,000 grant from KPMG, the global network of professional services firms, to explore the ability of a fraud knowledge management tool to enhance the work of public company auditors. Principal investigators include Bentley Professor of Accountancy Jay Thibodeau, Bentley PhD student Denise Hanes, and James Bierstaker of Villanova University.
"Although the frequency of material financial statement fraud is actually quite low when compared to the total number of public company financial disclosures, the potential impact on shareholders and audit firms can be significant when they do occur. So auditors spend significant effort to identify fraud risks," explains Thibodeau. "It is important to consider how new techniques can help auditors develop appropriate mental models of fraud characteristics during the audit process."
Thibodeau believes that a knowledge management tool consisting of industry-specific "stories" would place auditors in a better position to identify fraud risk factors, assess fraud risk, and then modify audit programs to appropriately respond to fraud risk factors. In this spirit, the KPMG grant will support the development and testing of a knowledge management tool that utilizes industry-specific stories based on SEC Accounting and Audit Enforcement Releases (AAERs).
"This research will make an important contribution to helping improve the audit profession's collective knowledge and approaches to assessing fraud risk. While audit professionals rarely experience actual material financial statement frauds at their clients, it remains critical that our tools, methodologies and training keep them alert to the possible risk factors and the need to be vigilant about potential fraud schemes," says Walton Conn, Jr., Partner in KPMG's U.S. firm, and Global Head of Audit Methodology and Implementation.
The research team will work with KPMG firms' representatives throughout the process to help shape and focus the research design in a manner that can maximize the benefits for stakeholders and the profession as a whole.
BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation's leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader - one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The McCallum Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,000 full-time undergraduate, 250 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,400 graduate, and 40 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education.
KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We have 140,000 outstanding professionals working together to deliver value in 146 countries worldwide. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.