Open Access

Testing early signs of fraudulent financial reporting – case of WIRECARD


The experience of fraudulent financial reporting scandals that shocked American corporate history in the early 2000’s marked a turning point in the evolution of the financial auditing profession, out of a desire to restore investors’ confidence in the integrity of listed companies’ financial information. The establishment of a public supervision authority for audit firms (PCAOB), the establishment of an audit committee for listed companies or the obligation to report on the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, among with severe financial sanctions for corporate fraud, are the most representative legislative measures imposed in the US by the Sarbanex-Oxley Act (2002) to achieve this goal. To a large extent, these measures have also been adopted in Community law, most likely under the impetus of similar events, such as the Parmalat case (2003). Here that, at a not appreciable time distance, such a sensitive issue of fraudulent reporting returns to the center of investors’ attention through the case of the German electronic payment processor - Wirecard (2020). The article aims to investigate possible early signals that could have indicated risk factors or circumstances that could have favored fraudulent financial reporting in the case of this issuer. In essence, the research methodology is limited to the application of the Beneish model on the annual financial reports from 2016-2018, in order to assess its validation in relation to the values of the score function (M).