Deepfakes, CEO fraud and audit opinion: That was our science and practice talk


Our last "Science and Practice" event of the year took place last Monday. We embarked on an interesting journey through the digital transformation of accounting. From automated and more precise processes to deepfakes - our experts Mag. Peter Hofbauer, Dr. Andreas Staribacher and Mag. Dr. Dr. Petra Inwinkl shared fascinating insights into the revolutionary and challenging changes that digitalization brings to accounting and enriched the discussion with their well-founded perspectives.

Audit opinion: "reasonable assurance" and "fair presentation"

Mag. Peter Hofbauer (Spokesman of the Board of the Auditor Oversight Authority) explained what can actually be expected from audit opinions and the false expectations that prevail in people's minds with regard to the statements and functions of audit opinions, as an audit opinion is by no means a guarantee of continued existence. Hofbauer cited Kika/Leiner in Austria and Sillicon Valley Bank in the USA as current examples.


"As an expert, you see things that you don't think are possible"

Dr. Andreas Staribacher (Centurion Wirtschaftsprüfungs- und Steuerberatungs GmbH) used various practical examples to show how errors could have been identified or where they were deliberately ignored and forgotten. Missing trader system, also known as carousel fraud, refers to a form of tax fraud in which criminal organizations attempt to illegally refund VAT. As an example, Dr. Staribacher explained how 24 companies were set up to promote carousel fraud, which generated a loss of 300 million euros for the tax authorities.  Dr. Staribacher cited "CEO fraud" as another example. This is a form of cybercrime in which criminals attempt to trick employees of a company into fraudulently disclosing funds or sensitive information. The term "CEO fraud" comes from the fact that high-ranking executives, such as CEOs (Chief Executive Officers), are often involved in the fraudulent activities. 


The lively discussion and qualified questions from the audience reflected the high level of interest in the topic of digitalization in accounting.