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Benford's Law
ISBN
9781118152850
Uitgever
John Wiley & Sons Inc
Druk vanaf
1e
Verschenen
01-01-2012
Taal
Engels
Bladzijden
330 pp.
Bindwijze
Hardcover
Genre
Management, Economie & Communicatie
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Benford's Law

Applications for Forensic Accounting, Auditing, and Fraud Detection

There are hidden patterns in the chaos that we know as data. In the 1930s, the physicist Frank Benford found that there were predictable patterns to the digits in the numbers in tabulated data. For many years, this little secret was known to only a few people, made up mainly of mathematicians and the Benford family. In the 1990s, the accountant Mark Nigrini first advocated the use of Benford's Law as a test for fraud and of data integrity. With 250 tables and figures dealing with 50 data sets revealed over 13 chapters, Nigrini takes us on a pioneering journey in Benford's Law: Applications for Forensic Accounting, Auditing, and Fraud Detection. Our adventure starts with the original 1938 paper on the topic and then moves through the leading-edge mathematical discoveries in the early days, finishing with recent examples from the GM, Chrysler, and Lehman bankruptcy filings, as well as an analysis of the numbers invented by students in an experiment designed to trick the researcher.

The applications include:

  • U.S. census population numbers

  • The Fibonacci numbers

  • Corporate payments

  • Enron and AIG's financial statement numbers

  • General Motors and Chrysler payments data

  • Madoff's monthly returns

  • Streamflow and lake data

  • Taxpayer interest and dividend income

  • The tax returns of Bill and Hillary Clinton

  • Lehman's charitable gifts

Benford's Law is written to be understood and enjoyed by auditors, forensic accountants, fraud investigators, financial analysts, and others concerned with data integrity and data authenticity. The book is both informative and entertaining, and is aimed at professionals with a basic knowledge of statistics and a love for numbers and figures. Nigrini's passion for the topic is clear, from the first page, where we are reminded that numbers play an integral part in our daily lives, to the final chapter, which includes an evaluation of where we are at the moment with respect to Benford's Law and where we need to go in the future. The inclusion of Excel, Access, and IDEA screenshots means that you can start working on your own data right away.

A companion website has links to many of the data sets used in the book, together with PowerPoint slides for college instructors and conference presentations. The website includes the Nigrini Cycle Excel template and several Access databases with their Benford's Law queries. The tests in the book will focus your attention on the abnormal duplications, biases, and anomalies in your data.

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