A Snapshot of the State of Fraud in America and Beyond in 2018

David Anderson is principal of David Anderson & Associates, a Philadelphia forensic accounting firm that provides a full range of fraud investigation, fraud deterrence programs and forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley.

Every two years, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) commissions a survey of fraud in the United States and abroad.  The ACFE just released its 2018 study entitled “Report to the Nations – 2018 Global Study on Occupational Fraud and Abuse.” Over the next several weeks, forensic accounting expert David Anderson of David Anderson & Associates, a Certified Fraud Examiner in Philadelphia, will discuss some of the key findings from the 2018 report.

Up first, some general observations regarding fraud:

  • The median loss from fraud is $130,000. This is down 13 percent from the $150,000 median loss identified in the 2016 Report;
  • Twenty-two percent of all frauds result in a loss of over $1 million;
  • The median duration of reported frauds is 16 months, down 11 percent from the 2016 Report duration of 18 months;
  • Smaller businesses (those with fewer than 100 employees) lost nearly twice as much to fraud as larger businesses ($200,000 versus $104,000). This disparity is significantly higher than that of the 2016 Report, which indicated that smaller and larger businesses averaged about the same amount of loss;
  • Asset misappropriation schemes (frauds involving the theft of cash, inventory, supplies, equipment or other company assets) remained the most common scheme, rising to 89 percent of all fraud schemes (versus 83 percent in the 2016 Report). Median asset misappropriation losses fell from $125,000 in the 2016 Report to $114,000 in the 2018 Report;
  • Financial statement fraud remains the least common scheme at 10 percent, but results in the highest losses – $800,000 per fraud in the 2018 Report. The loss amount is down 18 percent from the $975,000 median loss shown in the 2016 Report;
  • Internal control weaknesses, including inadequate separation of duties, were responsible for nearly one-half of all frauds reported in the 2018 Report;
  • The 2018 Report identified 18 different anti-fraud controls that companies had implemented (Anderson will discuss these in greater detail in an upcoming blog article). It found that every control implemented resulted in a reduction in both the duration and amount of fraud.

Next week’s blog article will discuss how frauds are detected and the characteristics of the people who commit fraud.

If you require the services of a Certified Fraud Examiner or any other forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, please contact the Philadelphia forensic accounting firm of David Anderson & Associates by calling David Anderson at 267-207-3597 or emailing him at

About David Anderson & Associates

David Anderson & Associates is a Philadelphia forensic accounting firm that provides a full range of forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley.  The experienced professionals at David Anderson & Associates provide forensic accounting, business valuation, fraud investigation, litigation support, economic damage analysis, business consulting and outsourced CFO services.  Company principal David Anderson has more than 30 years of experience in financial and operational leadership positions and is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiner and a Certified Valuation Analyst.