What is a Fraud Audit and when do you need one?

A fraud audit is an examination of a companies’ financial information and internal controls that are in place to help prevent fraudulent activities. The goal of a fraud audit is to further assess the risk of fraud within a company and to put measures in place to detect fraudulent activities. This is not a traditional audit, rather than ensuring that the full financial statements are accurate, a fraud audit will specifically target activities that may include manipulation, misrepresentation or deception.

Key Aspects of a Fraud Audit

Risk Assessment

The first step when doing a fraud audit is to assess the risk of fraud within the company. The auditors will evaluate a number of different factors such as company structure, industry, internal controls and if the company has any historical instances of fraud.

Fraud Detection Techniques

Fraud auditors will use a number of different techniques to detect any potential fraud. These techniques include forensic accounting, examination of the companies’ internal controls, an interview process, data analysis, etc. The auditors will look for any irregular patterns or red flags that could indicate fraudulent activities.

Documentation and Evidence

A fraud audit, like any other audit, involves in-depth documentation of any findings and supporting evidence to back up these findings. This evidence will be used in the event that any legal action is taken against the individual(s) involved in suspected fraudulent activity.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance

A Fraud audit will ensure that an organisation is compliant with all relevant laws and regulations. The auditors may also assist with identifying any areas within the company that may be lacking compliance. This could potentially lead to legal consequences.

Prevention and Deterrence

A fraud audit will also focus on implementing measures that will prevent and deter any future fraudulent activities. This could involve strengthening the company's internal controls, improving employee awareness with training programmes, and improving corporate governance

When is a Fraud Audit needed?

There are a number of different situations in which a fraud audit is needed, such as:

Internal Control Weakness

If there is any weakness within a company’s internal controls, a potential fraud risk is naturally a possibility, and a fraud audit may occur.

Risk Assessment

As part of a risk strategy, a company may conduct a periodic fraud audit to assess the risk of fraud and implement measures to prevent it.

Mergers and Acquisitions 

A company may conduct a fraud audit during mergers or acquisitions to ensure financial integrity and identify any possible risks during the process.

Regulatory Requirements

Regulatory authorities, in some instances, may require companies to conduct fraud audits on a regular basis in order to ensure compliance with specific regulations.


Reach out to our team of experts for more information at info@cooneycarey.ie.