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Forensic Audit: Field to Explore

Everyone reading this article would have obviously heard of Forensic Audit. And there is nothing surprising to that, as this word ‘Forensic Audit’ has become so familiar now these days, and special credit for this goes to Mr.Nirav Modi and Mr.Vijay Mallya and a huge pile of NPA’s build up by our state-owned banks.

1. What is Forensic Accounting/Auditing?

Forensic accounting seeks to uncover the what, why and how behind the computation and reporting of figures. The aim is to ascertain or confirm the substance of those purported transactions.

2. Why there is the need for Forensic Accountants?

According to ‘2018: Report to the nation’ by ACFE (Association of Certified Fraud Examiner), there were 2690 cases of occupational fraud (out of these,72 cases were from India) from 125 countries resulting into loss of more than $7 billion which cause a huge demand for those who can identify and put up relevant control to prevent such mishap. Against a backdrop of tough economic conditions and growing corporate governance, demand for forensic accountants is increasing.

Practitioners believe that the demand for the services of forensic accountants is growing because of the tightening economic conditions and the increasing scrutiny of how companies are governed. In such circumstances, there is heightened sensitivity to fraud, and that translates into more efforts to detect and prevent it, as well as to take legal action against the wrongdoers.

3. Pre-requisite of a skillful Forensic Accountant

a) Dave Cotton, a qualified CFE have greatly defined the attitude the person should maintain while investigating fraud and Forensic Cases. He said:’Many fraud perpetrators aren’t as clever at concealing fraud as most people probably think.If CFEs simply remain alert and maintain a high degree of professional skepticism many potential frauds are easy to find’.

b) A good Forensic auditor requires immense knowledge on financial aspect along with good understanding of internal financial controls as identification of weak control can help to easily catch out the areas where fraud can be carried out.

4. Professional Qualification that can give you an extra edge

i. Certified Fraud Examiner-

A course which is pursued by few (atleast in India)  but that will go to take you steps ahead of your peer. A qualified CFE can easily get the job into Forensic and investigation department of any high profile firm. It helps to give you recognition when you applied for the overseas job. It cost nearly 450$ to complete the course (if done by self-study).

ii. Certification course on Forensic Accounting and Fraud detection (ICAI)

It is a 7 days course with a fee of just Rs 20,000. Various topics ranging from internal financial controls, Indian law to real-life case studies will be covered during the lectures.

iii. Certified Professional Forensic Accountant-

It is offered by the Institute of Certified Forensic Accountants. The course is 100% online and offers a broad introduction to the concept of both forensic Accounting and Fraud.

The author can be reached at jainshobhit1996@gmail.com

Categories: CA, CS, CMA
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