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Do the Financial Statements of Listed Companies on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange Pass the Benford’s Law Test?

Natasa Omerzu and Iztok Kolar

International Business Research, 2019, vol. 12, issue 1, 54-64

Abstract: Currently, we need to think about the risks in using the financial statements. Abroad, for a long time, in the detection of irregularities in the financial statements, Benford's law test has been used, which is a very simple, objective and efficient digital analysis that can help identify controversial areas. Since, in Slovenia, its use is still unknown and in practice, and it is rarely used, we checked whether the financial statements of Slovenian companies listed on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange pass the Benford’s law test. Our study is original, as no one has ever tested the company's financial statements on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange with this test. We found that the tested data very well matched the theoretical distribution according to Benford's law. If the deviation of the analysed data from the theoretical distribution is very large, this does not mean that this is a possible fraud in the used financial data. Benford's law helps us identify the controversial areas that require our attention and the decision on how to proceed with the audit or possible investigation of accounting data.

Keywords: auditors; Benford's law; financial statements; forensic accountants; fraud detection (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C33 F31 F41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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