The HKSA recommends heightened vigilance as fraudsters go hi-tech Hong Kong accountants will be given new guidelines early next year to help prevent and report company fraud. Hong Kong Society of Accountants (HKSA) corporate governance committee chairman Edward Chow Kwong-fai said the guidelines would be issued as part of a new code of ethics for accountants. 'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,' Mr Chow said. 'The accountants should help companies to set up audit committees and control systems to prevent fraud. Companies should also hire staff to do internal supervision to check on malpractice.' He said companies should step up fraud prevention as the poor economy had led to more fraud activities. Fraud cases increased 75 per cent in the first three months of this year on a year-by-year basis, according to police statistics. There were 28 serious fraud cases, involving $275 million, reported to the police in the first quarter of this year. These included false accounting, fake documents and investment scams. To encourage companies to work harder in preventing fraud, the HKSA will hold an anti-fraud symposium tomorrow. Industry experts and Police Commissioner Tsang Yam-pui, who will speak on computer and internet-related fraud in the business sector, will address the gathering. Mr Chow said corporate fraud was no longer restricted to staff stealing cash or assets and had become more hi-tech, with some fraudsters stealing client and company pin numbers. 'Computer technology has increased the gains of fraudsters and companies are faced with the risks of higher losses. Companies should hire experts to prevent computer crime,' he said. 'Management is usually focused on ... profits while not paying much attention or committing resources to fraud prevention.' Mr Chow said all of Hong Kong's listed companies had set up audit committees but many of them met only once or twice a year and focused on financial statements rather than fraud prevention measures.