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Bond academic wins international award for fraud detection research

June 29, 2016

Bond University academic Dr Adrian Gepp has received the American Accounting Association’s 2016 Best Dissertation Award in the Forensic Accounting section.

Dr Gepp’s research paper – Improved Models to Detect Fraud in Financial Statements – resulted in the development of cutting-edge computer modelling techniques that can automatically classify financial reports as either fraudulent or legitimate.

His program has the potential to be used by regulators and fraud investigating agencies, as well as corporate Boards and company investors to improve early detection of fraudulent accounting practices.

“I am honoured to receive this award from such a prestigious organisation and very excited that my work is being recognised on the international stage,” said Dr Gepp, who is Assistant Professor of Statistics at Bond Business School.

The cost of fraud today is estimated at 5% of corporate revenue, with a single financial statement fraud scheme routinely costing companies more than $1million. Headline-grabbing fraud cases such as HIH and Harris Scarfe are potent indicators that the detection of such corporate misconduct needs to be improved with better detection aids.

As such, Dr Gepp’s research has been well received by the industry, with presentations to the Brisbane Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the Queensland Police Service’s Fraud and Cyber Crime Symposium, Bond Business Links and numerous industry events all receiving positive feedback.

“One of the key criteria for the American Accounting Association award is ‘impact on practice’ so it has really reinforced the importance of my research and strengthened my motivation to continue researching in this area,” he said.

Dr Gepp is also the lead organiser of the 4th Forensic Accounting Teaching and Research Symposium which will be held at Bond University from 13 to 14 October this year.

“Forensic accounting is an emerging field of study that is being influenced by a rapidly changing digital world,” he said.

“The object of the Symposium is to share information on all areas of research and education, as well as highlighting recent developments and innovations.”

The Symposium is designed for a broad range of professionals working in all areas of forensic accounting, research and education – accountants, lawyers, law enforcement, academics and so forth.

“Speakers already confirmed include partner and head of KordaMentha’s Brisbane-based forensics team David Van Homrigh, former Queensland Auditor-General Len Scanlan and former Commissioner of the New Zealand Securities Commission, Bond Professor Keitha Dunstan,” said Dr Gepp.

“We are also calling for submissions embracing a multi-disciplinary approach to forensic accounting – ranging from fraud prevention and the potential for fraud presented by cloud computing through to fraud in not-for-profit organisations and the psychology of fraud and corporate misconduct.”

The deadline for submissions to the 4th Forensic Accounting Teaching and Research Symposium is August 1, 2016.