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Fraud Investigation added to curriculum

International Accounting Standards are new and must be addressed in the curriculum, but  an age-old accounting problem — greed — also must be covered. To do that, the first ACCT451 Fraud Investigation class began in fall term 2010.

One of the new electives offered by the Accounting Department, this course looks at a specialized topic in depth.

The textbook selected is written by Joseph T. Wells, founder of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). The three basic types of financial frauds — misappropriation of assets, corruption, and financial statement fraud — will be addressed. The case studies embedded in the text, as well as the wealth of videos available online, will give real-life context to the coursework.

The class will include a case study published by Dr. John Delany, chair of the Augustana Accounting Department, and Marty Coe,of Western Illinois University. Students will be required to sort through data to discover why the profitability of "Jones Company" has suddenly decreased. This case can be found in the May/June 2010 edition of the Fraud Magazine published by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

The latest Report to the Nations, 2010 Global Fraud Study, estimates that the median loss from financial statement fraud was $4,100,000 in 2010, up from just $2,000,000 in 2008.