Fraud Survey

The Fraud survey is an annual survey of internal and external fraud cases within Canadian universities. Close to 30 institutions participate in the survey each year.

The annual survey tracks, over time, the volume and value of fraud cases, how fraud was detected, and the nature of the control weaknesses that were exploited. The perpetrator’s relationship to the university and the actions taken against the perpetrator are also explored, as well as the extent of anti-fraud policies and processes in place within institutions. The results are intended to help audit and other professionals to better understand fraud and its characteristics in our environment, and to help build awareness at the executive level of fraud risks and impacts.

The Fraud Survey results are presented at the annual Conference each June. The most recent recording of the presentation can be viewed here or the presentation is available to download here.

Key terms and definitions used throughout the survey:

Fraud Cases:

Any internal or external frauds on which investigations were completed during the year and where respondents were reasonably sure the perpetrators had been identified.


Any intentional act or omission designed to deceive the institution that results in the institution suffering an economic or financial loss while the perpetrator achieves a gain. It can be committed internally by members of the university community or externally by suppliers, contractors and others unbeknownst to the institution, through either manual or electronic means.

Fraud Loss:

Estimated value of fraud loss, excluding investigation and/or litigation costs.

Important Fraud:

A fraud with a loss over $5,000 or a fraud causing serious reputational damage.

Internal Fraud:

Any fraud perpetrated by a member of the university community where the responding university is the victim.

External Fraud:

Any fraud perpetrated by anyone outside your university community where the responding university is the victim.