Accoutning Fraud triangle - why are incentives and attitudes similar?

I looked at the scweser notes and found that under 3. Attitudes and Rationalization there are some points like

-Management obsession with maintaining/increasing stock prices

  • Making committments with 3rd party to ahcieve agressive results

Dont these points also fall under Incentives and Pressures?

I think it is important to distinguish between the perspective that you are looking from in terms of the fraud triangle. Incentives and pressures are placed upon management either from a third party, the industry/market or for personal financial gain. So if you think about incentives & pressures in terms of financial stability - market conditions, third party expectations (as opposed to management directly making a commitment to a third party that is risky for the company to meet) or pressure being applied by senior staff.

Attitudes & rationalizations are developed internally from management/employees/board members. So the actions representing attitudes & rationalisations are driven directly from management, e.g. management directly committing to achieve unrealistic/aggressive forecasts.

In terms of maintaining/increasing stock prices - I think the attitude/rationalisation may simply be that management intends to increase their stock price regardless of whether they believe the market price is undervalued or not - purely for the appearance of capital growth. I think the key word is obsession in that sense - it does not describe an incentive but an attitude presented towards their stock value. If that statement was to mention any compensation benefits regarding the approach increase stock price, then an incentive has been implied. It is possible for a potential risk factor to be both an incentive/pressure and an attitude/rationalization.

Just from the questions I have answered, I think that incentives & pressures are more readily stated within the question - e.g. compensation benefits, pressure from analysts, investors, regulators. Whilst attitudes/rationalizations will be a means for management to justify their actions or a direct practice that they commit to, their behavior - e.g. excessive interest, communication, auditor restrictions.

For the exam, I think it will be wise to read the question carefully,pay close attention the choice of words and language used, the point of view being described. Just remember that we are looking at it from an analyst perspective, and trying to assess what is being presented before us in regards to the fraud triangle.

I hope this helps somewhat. It is something I have been trying to wrap my head around for a while as well.

Good luck.