New Companies Act 2013: Will it reduce Corporate Frauds

Contributed By: Vikas Agarwal

The Bangalore Chapter of IAIP organized a Speaker Event where Saket Bhartiya Director, EY was speaker of the day. Apart from several years of experience, skills and prominent certification sets, Saket was well equipped with several research reports, news pieces and case studies. It was an exclusive chance for participants to learn about a topic that is hardly discussed in an open forum. Bangalore, a city that is on its way to become the start-up city of the world, attracted a wide range of participants (starting from start-up entrepreneurs to PE investors) who had a great opportunity to learn something that is applicable to their day to day business.

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Frauds Are Never Small When It Comes To Maligning The Image

A Fraud can be of small amount but it is enough when it comes to maligning sentiments towards a company. Saket started the discussion with the core of the problem that is “Why frauds take place?” A detailed discussion on fraud triangle was a good start and it helped putting the context right.

Fraud across countries, sectors and companies

Saket also shared a detailed survey report that was done on fraud in Technology, communication and Entertainment companies. Report contained data specific to well develop, rapidly growing companies. Another interesting insight shared by Saket was that fraud is not limited to developing companies or countries. In fact developed countries and companies are also no different. Corruption perception index was also discussed and it was a matter of high interest for the audience. Although India ranks high on this index, situation has started turning for the better. When discussion turned to specifics of India, Saket had another interesting report to present. This report was carrying figures of bribe and corruption across different sectors in India and with no surprise Infrastructure, real estate was the leading sector.

Accounting Manipulation: A Small Part Of A Big Story

As the room was filled with CFA charterholders and aspirant candidates, it was of least surprise that discussion came to accounting fraud many times. A big part of audience that otherwise thought that highest frauds are done through accounting manipulation, was left surprised when report revealed that it was only 9% of total frauds. While sharing industry trend speaker was concerned as not only the number of fraud events have gone up, but also, it’s complexities have increased with time. Further, most frauds are followed by long litigation that makes the overall affair bitter and expensive.

Companies Act 2013 And The Changing Regime

Finally discussion arrived all the way at Companies Act 2013 and its major changes. There was a discussion on the aftermath of fraud. It contained provisions that fix the accountability of various persons and authorities who will be penalized in case a fraud is identified in any company. Out of several other compliance requirements, Vigil Mechanism was the area of focus. Empowering Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) was also discussed. Conclusion of the programme was done with ready to be used practical inputs where presenter discussed several red flags that can give indication of a wrong doing to an analyst.

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