Empowering Board Audit Committees: Electronic Discovery to Facilitate Corporate Fraud Detection
28 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2006
Date Written: April 2, 2006
A number of recent accounting scandals in public companies have illuminated the need for enhanced oversight capabilities by board audit committees. The current reliance of boards on corporate financial statements reviewed by independent auditors is deficient; there is a delay in audit committees receiving these reports. Moreover, these reports transmit historic rather than real-time information to directors. In this paper we investigate if analytical techniques utilized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to provide advance warning of potential terrorist threats can be employed to strengthen corporate governance of public companies. The narrative reads that board audit committees can utilize electronic analysis of corporate email as an advanced corporate fraud detection system. Our application of these techniques to one actual case of corporate fraud indicates that an electronic monitoring system would have signaled an alarm of aberrant behavior to the board audit committee 60 days in advance of initial inquiries by regulatory authorities.
Keywords: Corporate Governance, Corporate Fraud, Boards, Audit Committees, Fraud Detection
JEL Classification: G34, M49, L20, M14, M21, K20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation