Professor examines motivations of business fraud Title: “A.B.C.’s of Behavioral Forensics: Applying Psychology to Financial Fraud Prevention and Detection” Author: Sri Ramamoorti, associate professor of accounting in the Michael J. Coles College of Business, with David E. Morrison III, Joseph W. Koletar, and Kelly Richmond Pope Publisher: Wiley This book explores the psychology of white-collar crime, examining human behavior and what motivates one to commit financial fraud. It explores why one engages in this white-collar crime rather than how it is committed. A CPA with a Ph.D. in psychology, Ramamoorti says that financial fraud is more about human behavior than accounting principles. “The soft underbelly of fraud is all about the people behind it, predator and victim, and their unconscious, their emotions, their psychological defenses,” he said. “It’s more than just the detection of fraud; it’s understanding what motivates one to commit fraud.” Along with three colleagues in the anti-fraud field, including an organizational psychiatrist, an FBI-veteran-turned-forensics investigator and an accounting professor, the authors share insight on how the psychological aspect of fraud has long been overlooked by the accounting profession and C-suite executives, and how best to pinpoint those behavioral clues in the workplace. The book discusses the A.B.C.’s – the bad apples, bad bushels and bad crops – a theory Ramamoorti penned with the authors after extensive research studying C-suite level professionals and interviewing convicted felons. Individuals (the “apples”), a department or group (the “bushels”) or the entire organization or industry (the “crop”) can fuel a toxic culture where fraud is endemic and even rewarded.
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