About the Report

  • Methodology

    The 2014 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse is based on the results of an online survey opened to 34,615 Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs) from October 2013 to December 2013. As part of the survey, respondents were asked to provide a detailed narrative of the single largest fraud case they had investigated. Additionally, for the first time in the Report’s history, we allowed respondents to submit information about a second case that they investigated; of all the cases included in the Report, 68 were secondary cases. Each case submitted met the following four criteria:

    1. The case must have involved occupational fraud (defined as internal fraud, or fraud committed by a person against the organization for which he or she works).
    2. The investigation must have occurred between January 2012 and the time of survey participation.
    3. The investigation must have been complete at the time of survey participation.
    4. The CFE must have been reasonably sure the perpetrator(s) was (were) identified.

    Respondents were then presented with 84 questions to answer regarding the particular details of the fraud case, including information about the perpetrator, the victim organization and the methods of fraud employed, as well as fraud trends in general. We received 1,713 total responses to the survey, 1,483 of which were usable for purposes of the Report. The data contained in the 2014 Report is based solely on the information provided in these 1,483 survey responses.

    Analysis Methodology

    In calculating the percentages discussed throughout the Report, we used the total number of complete and relevant responses for the question(s) being analyzed. Specifically, we excluded any blank responses or instances where the participant indicated that he or she did not know the answer to a question. Consequently, the total number of cases included in each analysis varies.

    Several survey questions allowed participants to select more than one answer. Therefore, the sum of percentages in many figures throughout the Report exceeds 100%.

    All loss amounts discussed throughout the Report are calculated using median loss rather than mean, or average, loss. Average losses were heavily skewed by a limited number of very high-dollar frauds. Using median loss provides a more conservative — and we believe more accurate — picture of the typical impact of occupational fraud schemes. Additionally, we excluded median loss calculations for categories for which there were fewer than 10 responses.

2014 ACFE Asia-Pacific Fraud Conference