One major advantage that The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) would bring to our anti-corruption fight and crusade is that, it will not only partner with relevant government agencies, but will also help to educate and train their agents and staff through certification on the use of science and technology of forensic and investigation skills in order to put in place some advanced mechanism to prevent frauds in their various organizations to avoid reacting to fraud issues after such had taken place which has not yield results in our country over the years.
Prevention is key here because fraud is better prevented. The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) will primarily educate and train all his/her members and also staff in various government agencies and parastatals to be proactive rather than just being reactive to financial crime cases. If we as a country must address the problem of fraud and corrupt practices, we must be seen to come up with better ways to assist our government and relevant agencies in preventing fraud, as the saying goes; prevention is better than cure.
- The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) will help to strengthen the nation’s institutional frameworks thereby bringing us at par with other developed countries, in line with global standards and competitiveness.
- The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) will stimulate public confidence, and enhance transparency and accountability in our economy system and our national lives.
- The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) will also answer the question often posed by foreign investors as to the safety and guarantee of their Direct Foreign Investments (DFIS) in our country.
- The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) also seeks to leverage on the skills already acquired by trained Forensic Accountants/Forensic Auditors (FAs) in Pakistan and world at large, to offer training and retraining of personnel in order to broaden and ensure active participation from various relevant organs of government.
- The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) will also popularize the art and use of science and technology of forensic investigation and fraud prevention by professionals just like as it is practiced in many developed countries.
- The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) will create employment opportunities especially for our teeming young graduates and youths who are roaming on the streets.
- The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) will also help to generate as well as conserve foreign exchange through its education and training programs for Pakistanis and foreigners, especially nationals of neighboring Asian Countries, who will want to be trained as professional forensic accounting & forensic auditing investigators. Note also, that The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) at the moment is pioneering the training on the use of forensic investigation for prevention of fraud, corruption and cybercrimes in Pakistan.
- Besides, having a home based forensic and Investigative Professionals will save Pakistan government the cost of inviting Foreign Forensic Investigators for forensic fraud investigations as it were. There is a need to patronize made in Pakistan to grow Pakistan please.
- It is going to be a win-win situation from which ever perspective it is viewed, but especially when looked at from the context of judicious application and utilization of scarce resources and a nation like ours that does not enjoy immunity from global recession that is also affecting other nations of the world with more technological advancement than ours.
- The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) seeks to develop, educate and train Forensic Accountants, Digital Forensic Auditors and investigative Professionals in Pakistan, through a system of professional examination and certification that will make them qualified and more skilled in the use of science and technology for fraud prevention, detection and investigation.
- Amongst its basic functions and objectives, The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) seeks to create a platform which will produce qualified, dedicated, skilled and professionally trained individuals in the use of Forensic Accounting, Forensic Auditing, Fraud Examination, Forensic Science and Technological tools and the techniques of forensic for investigation of fraud in public and private sector of our economy, using international best practices and skills in the discharge of their function.
- Going by its objectives therefore, The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) will promote high professional standards, ethics and etiquettes amongst her members in a bid to wipe out cases of fraud and corruption and also a mechanism for fraud prevention which is currently one of the banes of many practitioners in Pakistan.
- Interestingly, one the uniqueness of The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) is that it has created wider coverage to accommodate and make provision for the training of professionals from other disciplines like Lawyers, Criminologists, and Security Experts, Judicial Officers, Court Registrars, economics, police detectives, cyber experts, Public/Chartered/Cost/Management Accountants, Finance/Investment Professionals, Internal/External Auditors, Bankers, Management/Corporate/Tax Consultants, and amongst others that are desirous to become skilled in this unique practice of fraud prevention, detection and investigation. This is because Forensic and Investigation involve litigation support, court testimony and expert witness.
- The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) even at its embryo stage has been actively involved in training of professionals from different fields, and has educated and trained thousands of professionals within and without, and have a good number of qualified members from different fields like Lawyers, Criminologist, Security Experts, Judicial officers, Accountants, economists, etc. since its establishment in Pakistan. Right now we have so many registered students across the country that will pass through the process of examinations to be qualified as forensic accounting and forensic auditing professionals. These students are expected to undergo series of training in forensic field and qualifying examinations from Foundation stage one to Professional Stage Group II.
- To underscore high level of personalities that are already members of The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP), we already have in our fold Prominent Pakistani who are against fraud, corruption and cybercrimes in Pakistan and will like deliverance in our country. Therefore, The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) is not a group of kindergartens; is a Institute/Body with seasoned professionals.
- We must reiterate the point that similar bodies as The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) are already in existence in many anti-fraud leading countries such as Canada, America, Australia, India, South Africa and amongst others, these has afforded greater opportunities as we are already collaborating with these countries in areas of partnership training, information sharing, exchange of ideas, associate programs and note comparison.
- The global acknowledgement of the ubiquity of corruption and its egregious discontent is reinforced by the UN, World Bank, IMF, OECD, FATF and various regional and international organizations. The global concern is about the insidious nature of fraud, corruption and cyber-crimes (incorporating money laundering and other white collar crimes) and the wide range of its corrosive effects on societies. The manifestation of this evil phenomenon undermines democracy and the rule of law, distorts markets, emasculates Government efforts in providing basic infrastructure, and allows organized crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish. In short, there is universal disaffection with and resentment against fraud corruption and cyber-crimes.
- As we are aware, Pakistani Government has lost billions of rupees and dollars in the past few years to fraud, corruption and Cyber Crimes, until the government treasury became empty and citizens left to their faith. It is a statement of fact that as distasteful as it is to hear that our nation Pakistan is rated among countries with very poor fraud prevention records in the world, it is even more worrisome to know that despite the federal government renewed efforts in tackling fraud, corruption and Cyber-crimes, very little result has been achieved, especially in the area of securing conviction against perpetrators of fraud in Pakistan. This is because many of the cases, especially the high profile ones, are either thrown out for want of evidence or are unnecessarily delayed and stocked in court for years, due to one reason or the other.
- Government at all levels are losing billions of rupees to fraud and most criminal cases bordering on fraud, corruption and cyber-crimes are partly due to lack of investigators. Prosecution of financial fraud in Pakistan hampered partly by lack of experienced investigators and prosecutors, and whereby they exist they are overwhelmed. We need not to mention here that government agencies and multinational corporations spend huge sums out of scare foreign exchange to retain expatriates forensic and investigative auditors to come and unravel complex cases of fraud.
It is a statement of fact that Pakistan has been burning with the fire of fraud, corruption, bribery, money laundering, white collar crimes and cyber-crimes which have for long ravaged our economy and dwarfed development. It has been shown by empirical research and legal pronouncements that these social vices that led to the collapse and failure of many companies were aided and abetted by invidious and insidious accounting practices.
Barrister Sohail Nawaz