Forensic Accountants syndicate their accounting knowledge with investigative skills, using this unique combination in litigation support and investigative accounting settings. Forensic Accountants may be engaged by firms specializing in risk consulting and forensic accounting services or by solicitors, law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, government organizations or financial institutions. Due to complex business ecosystem, society’s heightened cognizance and emergent intolerance of fraudulent activities; forensic accountants’ mandate is rapidly increasing.
When frauds occur, the forensic audit adopts a scientific and systematic approach relating to such frauds by examining objects or substances involved in the crime. Hence, it has to necessarily do with legal systems, engaging the expert to deal with the subject matter, the law and the perpetrator of fraud. A series of steps are taken to deal with the issue, and evidences are established to prove the occurrence of fraud, the gravity and intensity of the act, with indications of who could have been involved in the act. Since we are talking of accounting and audit, Forensic Accountants/Forensic Auditors (FAs) are best suited for this profession as they basically are trained to understand normal accounting principles and processes.
Today white-collar crime is a pervasive phenomenon of fraud in the corporate world. To unearth and curb the incidence of white-collar frauds in business, ideas are being drawn from various forensic sciences to supplement the thought process of accountants and auditors. Forensic Accounting/Forensic Auditing is a rapidly developing area of specialization primarily concerned with fraud deterrence, fraud detection and fraud investigation. The present study is focused on the nature and extent of white-collar crime and seeks to explore the need for corporate fraud prevention. In order to cleanse the corporate sector from white-collar criminal behavior and to ensure mainstream adoption of Forensic Accounting/Forensic Auditing in Pakistan, a change in mind-set and robust infrastructure development are required.
The impact of frauds on banks in monetary transactions are more significant as their operations involve transaction of funds. Side by side, frauds can have a potentially weakening effect on self-assurance in the banking system and may damage the stability of the economy. They can bring down banks; undermine the State Bank of Pakistan’s decisions, etc. The increase in amount involved is largely attributable to the few large value advances and technology related frauds that have come to light in recent years which pose a significant challenge to all stakeholders in the banking industry. Banks are facing a gradually difficult scenario with increased scams fraudulent incidents and thereby directly affecting outcome and increased cost of compliance. With increased regulatory inspections, banks are under pressure to execute best practices. In such a situation, Forensic Accounting/Forensic Auditing is therefore not an option but the need of the hour.
The need for fraud prevention is necessary in every company, but the degree of protection varies based upon the size of the company. At this point, it is essential to highlight that forensic accounting eliminates the business ills. Forensic Accounting/Forensic Auditing is a fastest growing area of accounting now that enables in thinking and enhancing the chances of success in business life, so it is working in most major accounting firms and going to become a great source for the business firms to surmount all the problems. Hence there is a great scope for Forensic Accounting/Forensic Auditing in investigation during merger, amalgamation and acquisition, tax investigations, economic crime investigations, all kind of civil litigation supports, specialized audits, and even in terrorist investigations. This is the right time to adopt and adhere strictly the Forensic Accounting/Forensic Auditing at all the levels of public, government and corporation accounting as an accounting tool to prevent and cure the entities from the financial and other ills.
The Forensic Accountant/Forensic Auditor (FA) Program is designed by The Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP) to provide a progressive, challenging and stimulating framework of study that will equip you with knowledge and skills required in this field. With the corporate financial scandals of Panama 2016 and the economic crisis that looms today, Forensic Accountants/Forensic Auditors (FAs) are becoming more and more vital for ensuring that financial transactions are done legally and ethically. Thus, forensic accounting and fraud investigation is one of the fastest growing areas of accounting, and there is an increasing global demand for specialists with forensic accounting knowledge and skills.
Growing cyber-crimes, failure of regulators to track the security scams, series of co-operative banks bursting–all are pinpointing the need of forensic accounting. The law enforcement officers are the experts of analyzing the fingerprints and the Narcotics but the digital evidence analysis necessitates the need for Forensic Accountants/Forensic Auditors (FAs).
Forensic Accounting or financial forensics is the specialty practice area of accountancy that describes engagements that result from actual or anticipated disputes or litigation. “Forensic” means “suitable for use in a court of law”, and it is to that standard and potential outcome that Forensic Accountants/Forensic Auditors (FAs) generally have to work. Forensic Accountants (FAs), also referred to as Forensic Auditors or Investigative Auditors, often have to give expert evidence at the eventual trial.
Banks are the engines that drive the operations in the financial sector, money markets and growth of an economy. With the rapidly growing banking industry in Pakistan, frauds in banks are also increasing very fast, and fraudsters have started using innovative methods. In the modern era, there is “no silver bullet for fraud protection; the double-edged sword of technology is getting sharper, day-in-day-out.” The use of neural network-based behavior models in real-time has changed the face of fraud management all over the world. Banks that can leverage advances in technology and analytics to improve fraud prevention will reduce their fraud losses. Recently, forensic accounting/forensic auditing has come into limelight due to rapid increase in financial frauds or white-collar crimes.