RSM Australia

C-Suite's dirty little fraud secret

Fraud by CEOs, CFOs and others in the ‘C-suite’ is a dirty little secret which is rarely discussed but happens with disturbing regularity. It is one of those once in a lifetime events that seem to happen regularly!

The great majority of our business leaders do the right thing and have ethics and integrity beyond reproach. Their qualifications and training, professional association or institute affiliations, careers, focus on business viability (private sector) or services to the public (public sector), business acumen including practice of governance, risk management, and compliance, and often philanthropic work are well honed to give us all confidence. However, there is a dirty little fraud secret which is rarely the subject of public or private discussion, fraud committed by the C-suite. This applies to a small percentage of total C-suite but happens in regular patterns to cause concern.

This article will discuss this phenomenon, and give some suggestions as to the checks and balances which should be in place to mitigate these risks and give confidence to businesses, Boards, Audit Committees and stakeholders including shareholders that their C-suite trusted executives continue to act ethically and with integrity at all times.