Half of Irish businesses have experienced a significant instance of fraud in the past two years, according to the latest survey conducted by Ernest and Young as part of their 11th Global Fraud Survey.

Among those surveyed included CFOs, heads of internal audit, legal and compliance in major companies throughout the world. The findings show that fraud management remains a top concern for board members, as almost 90% of Irish respondents cited a growing concern over their own personal liability regarding corruption and bribery.

“These figures are perhaps unsurprising given the credit crunch and ensuing recession.  There has been increased pressure on businesses and board members to maintain financial results in difficult conditions which has encouraged new frauds, whilst companies have been forced to take a closer inspection of costs, leading to the uncovering of pre-existing fraud schemes,” said Ernst & Young's Fraud Investigations Partner Julie Fenton.

While some Irish companies lead the way when it comes to dealing with fraud management, some are neglecting to implement necessary risk assessments. A staggering 40 percent of Irish businesses have never completed a fraud evaluation.

 “Ireland is well prepared in some areas of fraud management but is still seriously exposed in others key areas. The fact that so many businesses in Ireland have no formal policy towards handling fraud risk is truly alarming considering Ireland is experiencing greater incidence of fraud attacks than many other countries,” added Fenton.

Fenton went on to say that Irish companies will have to improve their procedures on fraud risk management in order to achieve long term sustainable and ethical growth.