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Cella, RS and Rech, IJ (2017)

Petrobas Case: Could Benford's Law Detect a Fraud?

Revista de Gestão, Finanças e Contabilidade, UNEB, Salvador, v. 7, n. 3, pp. 86-104.

ISSN/ISBN: 2238-5320 DOI: Not available at this time.

Note - this is a foreign language paper: POR

Abstract: This study had as objective to verify Benford’s Law applicability for fraud detection in Petrobras. National literature on fraud is scarce and the dissemination of the predictive power of the method can be useful for the development of the professional and empirical field. Frequencies of first digit from patrimonial elements from red flags occurrence were analyzed, considering the period ranging from 2004 to 2012. The results from Petrobras company showed discrepancies according to Benford’s Law. However, surprisingly, data from 40 companies listed at BM&FBovespa showed higher discrepancies than Petrobras. Based on this, it is possible to conclude that Benford’s Law applied only for the red flags first digit did not showed to be efficient for fraud detection. Results pointed out the necessity to do deeper studies for Petrobras fraud detection, highlighting that interpretation of the results obtained through Benford Law must be done with caution. Keywords: Fraud detection; financial reports; corruption; State company.

@article {, AUTHOR = {Ricardo Sartori Cella and Ilirio Jos{\'e} Rech}, TITLE = {PETROBRAS CASE: COULD BENFORD’S LAW DETECT A FRAUD?}, JOURNAL = {Revista de Gest{\~a}o, Finan{\c c}as e Contabilidade}, YEAR = {2017}, VOLUME = {7}, NUMBER = {3}, PAGES = {86--104}, URL = {}, }

Reference Type: E-Print

Subject Area(s): Accounting