If you believe a PwC poll, Australia may well be a hotbed of business fraud, with local companies reporting a higher frequency of financial crime than anywhere else in the world.

According to the accounting giant’s biennial global survey of economic crime, the reported incidence of financial fraud in Australia is up 10 per cent over the past two years, with 57 per cent of Australian respondents hit since 2012.

That compares to just 32 per cent of companies in the Asia-Pacific region and 37 per cent of companies globally.

PwC, which isn’t alone in touting for work for a growing forensic services practice, qualifies its findings by emphasising that this does not necessarily mean there is more crime in Australia.

It could just be, it says, that Australian companies are better at detecting fraud, thanks to their increasing use of data analytics, formal whistleblower programs and external specialists (ahem, PwC).

Nonetheless, with economic stress increasing, the survey indicates a rising frequency in Australia of cyber crime, asset misappropriation, accounting fraud, money laundering, tax fraud and IP infringement.

In particular, PwC has identified procurement fraud as a growing and significant problem in the mining contracting sector as the mining boom winds back.

Most frauds are still committed by staff, with the perpetrator most likely a degree-qualified male manager aged between 31 and 40.


© The West Australian

More Business news at the thewest/business.com