The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature and perception of corporate frauds in India and their consequences in the business and economic systems, and it highlights the emerging issues so that existing legal and regulatory obligations can be redefined and structured.
An exploratory research was conducted through a combined mode of literature review; case studies; structured questionnaires from 346 sample companies; and 43 interviews with the corporate professionals, management, investors, government offices and authorities having wide experience.
It was found that the regulatory system is weak, and there is dire need to redefine the role of auditors. Coordination among different regulatory authorities is poor, and after every scam, there is a blame game. Reporting of fraud and publication of fraud prevention policy are missing. Banks and financial institutions are ineffective on due diligence, and there is a lack of professionalism on the board and other executive levels in companies.
This study assumes that fraud could be mitigated by proactive and conscious action by auditors, and corporate executives are willing to avoid perpetrating financial fraud despite pressures from investors, government securities regulators and exogenous market fluctuations. The authors relied on the honesty of the respondents during the sample collection and recorded semi-structured interviews. A minimum level of five years’ work experience relative to preventing, detecting or investigating fraud has been considered a valid determinant in selecting the purposive sample.
The study suggests mandatory publication of fraud prevention policy; constitution of special purpose corporate offence wing; recognition to companies for improved corporate governance; true adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards; due diligence by banks and financial institutions; compulsory appointment of professionals by shareholders and fixation of responsibility on independent professionals; intellectualisation of audit committee; and more powers to the regulators, especially Securities and Exchange Board of India.
Prevention of corporate frauds reduces anxiety, improves corporate image and builds up confidence of the investors, which is essential for resource channelling in financial markets.
The research work is based on a thorough analysis of regulatory framework and fraud case studies and primary data collected from companies, banks and other government and developmental institutions.
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