Companies ‘Cook the Books to Meet Tough Targets’: survey
(Reuters) – Hard-pressed company bosses across much of the world are under so much pressure to deliver on growth that many have resorted to cooking the books, Ernst & Young ERNY.UL says in its latest Fraud Survey published on Tuesday.
One in five of almost 3,500 staff quizzed in 36 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India said they had seen financial manipulation in their companies in the last 12 months, the accounting and consultancy firm said.
In addition 42 percent of board directors and top managers surveyed said they were aware of “some type of irregular financial reporting”.
And despite scandals and regulatory failures in the wake of the credit crunch, almost a quarter of top financial services staff surveyed said they were aware of manipulation and almost 10 percent of all staff said their companies had understated costs, overstated revenues or used unprincipled sales tactics.
Meanwhile, almost half of the sales staff surveyed across all sectors did not consider anti-corruption policies to be relevant and more than a quarter thought it acceptable to offer personal gifts or services to win or retain business.