Introducing Diploma of Investigative and Forensic Accounting: A Case Study in Lebanon

DIFA, Diploma of Investigative and Forensic Accounting, is gaining reputation due to its importance in dealing with corruptive enterprise practices and financial robbery. However, the absence of Forensic Accounting (FA) continues to be noticed in international locations of opaque commercial enterprise practices. Furthermore, simplest few universities the world over are introducing DIFA, as a result a major paintings needs to be achieved to shed the light at the importance of the diploma in the first region and then provide it as an professional diploma with guides relating to FA whether in universities or economic establishments tax investigation specialists
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The most important difficulty lies within the truth that Forensic Accounting is neither furnished in universities as a degree, nor at financial establishments to discover fraud and make criminal court reviews. In many universities of Canada and america, the DIFA, is being included in the curriculum so as to recruit new college students and provide abilities set for career development through development of a specialised niche. One of the targets of the Alliance for Excellence in Investigative and Forensic Accounting (Alliance), set up by way of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), is to develop and control a expert certification software. This diploma is designed as a complete program for a person who wishes to exercise on this location. CPA, CFA, CIA are examples of certificates granted in Lebanon, but, no degree is to be had associated with Forensic Accounting. Therefore, it can be a degree given in academic establishments that grant CPA or every other certification related to auditing or accounting.
Furthermore, the importance of adopting FA in the universities’ accounting curriculum is highlighted specifically that its call for for it’s miles growing regularly. Such adoption has a massive potential to beautify college students’ abilties and talents and could be used as a veritable useful resource from which fraud will be mitigated. Fresh graduates can as well attain the DIFA program that gives a huge variety of know-how and abilities to perform economic investigations. This variety includes accounting, audit, earnings tax understanding, fraud knowledge, understanding of law and guidelines of evidence, an investigative mentality and vital skepticism, knowledge of psychology and motivation, and sturdy communication capabilities (Stott, 2005).
The application makes a speciality of know-how and talents that can be first-rate taught and examined in character: which includes dealing with a face-to-face assembly with a patron, interviewing competencies, and attesting in court as an professional witness. DIFA supports accountants with the information and abilties had to bridge the distance between existing quantification models and principles and exclusive litigation contexts (Stott, 2005).
Based on descriptive information of survey results conducted in Lebanon, being a rustic of opaque commercial enterprise practices, to become aware of the certificates that a forensic accountant ought to possess showed that:
fifty nine.09% of the respondents thought that a forensic accountant have to have a DIFA;
31.Eighty two% proposed that CPA is the wished certificate (Certified Public Accountant);
20.Ninety one% idea that CFA is the precise one (Chartered Financial Analyst);
10.00% mentioned other styles of certification.
2.12% of the respondents failed to locate it important to have any certification to grow to be a forensic accountant.
Furthermore, the relation between profession and the respondents’ opinion about the types of certifications that a forensic accountant ought to possess become additionally studied. The following breakdown shows the chances of respondents who proposed that DIFA is the critical certification primarily based on task profession.
Sixty nine.10% of the respondents working in banking or insurance
fifty one.60% of the respondents working in finance
72.70% of the respondents running in schooling
80% of the respondents operating in management
However, most of the respondents inside the accounting discipline notion that CPA is the form of certification that need to be possessed by means of the forensic accountant with a 77.10%. People running in accounting typically tend to pursue a CPA diploma for the assist it presents in this area.
In addition to the above, the relation between experience and the respondents’ opinion about the types of certification that a forensic accountant ought to possess became also studied. The outcomes, based on those who pick out DIFA as the wanted certificates, had been as follows:
most respondents with extra than two years’ experience notion that DIFA is the wanted certification to practice FA
fifty one.90% of respondents with 2 years’ experience and much less idea that DIFA is the wanted certification to practice FA;
sixty eight.Eighty% among 2 and six years of enjoy thought that DIFA is the wished certification to exercise FA;
fifty five.Forty% of these with less than 2 years or no experience at all concept that CPA is the type of certification that need to be possessed through the forensic accountant.
Moreover, the surveys performed answered the question whether or not the respondents approve that the DIFA have to be blanketed within the Lebanese college packages. It demonstrates that:
97.88% of the respondents standard having a DIFA inside the universities;
2.12% of them didn’t take delivery of having a DIFA inside the universities;
This is in particular critical considering maximum of the Lebanese human beings are in the degree of pursuing their academic degrees of which the best percentage is analyzing finance.
Supporting the results of the surveys, interviews were additionally conducted to know about the kind of certificates that a FA should preserve. Most respondents approved that there need to be a certification granted to a forensic accountant. This can be illustrated by means of what the accounting supervisor at “Malia Group Multinational Company” (with 5 years of revel in) said by way of pronouncing: “It ought to be taught in universities and the enterprise owners should request of their vacancies for an accountant with a sure certifications such as DIFA”
The interviewees’ solutions burdened that it have to be added in all universities and academic institutions main to a certificates (DIFA), and candidates must have information and a diploma in accounting and auditing. As one interviewee, a associate at Bureau d’Analyse et de Revision Comptable (BARC) for auditing and taxation (with 33-36 years of enjoy) puts it: “It is a manner to prevent corruption that is why I specify that it must study in universities because I strongly agree that it’s far implemented”. Relating interviewees’ hints to encompass FA in university applications, the head of audit department at “professional auditors” (11 years of revel in) states: “FA is vital for cheating methods, it may be introduced in universities”.
Interviewees gave different responses and hints approximately what is needed to perform Forensic Accounting. One interviewee coded that: “There are specific teaching packages such as CPA and there are special packages for certified monetary forensic and DIFA”(Partner of an audit and taxation firm “Bureau d’Analyse et de Revision Comptable with 33-36 years of revel in). Thus interviewees thought that a forensic accountant must be an skilled auditor or has a deep information in laws; the sort of certification wanted can be CPA (licensed public accountant), or have a license in accounting, a certification or a degree from the LACPA (Lebanese Association of Certified Public Accounting). For example the head of the audit branch at expert Auditors indicated that: “Of path you want to have a license in accounting and maybe CPA, as an instance in our LACPA Lebanese association of certifies public accounting maybe you can get this degree there”.
Other interviewees said that FA need to manifestly have a diploma in accounting besides the needed revel in so as to hit upon suspicious acts, or have a BA diploma with troubles related to fraud and disclosure, CPA is a plus, or perhaps have CFE. A lecturer and previous partner at KMPG (with 15 to 17 years of enjoy) commented in this count by saying: “On the academic level the fine certification could be CFE if every body desires to be involved in that topic he ought to move for such certification specialized in fraud examination”.
If anyone seeks to be worried on this domain he ought to go for such certification specialized in fraud exam. Others stated that FA already has CPA or long experience. Furthermore, a forensic accountant, as an auditor have stated: “must have investigative skills and you have to do the right training with the intention to be equipped”. Other interviewees additionally noted that a forensic accountant need to have investigative talents and go through proper training in order to be equipped or be an authorized accountant with certain abilties and experience; the certifications wanted are an accounting diploma or a law degree for the reason that forensic accountant may should testify in courts. Or have a formal education in fraud; certifications might be CPA or CFE.
Another essential statement coded from the interviewees is that “To end up a forensic accountant, you want to be a certified accountant with positive abilities and revel in, the certifications needed are accounting diploma or regulation degree because the forensic accountant ought to testify in courts” (Accounting Manager at Malia Group, with eight years of enjoy).
In other phrases, FA accountants have to be accountants inside the first location, no specialized certification, but must be involved in education workshops or seminars that help enhance his information and abilities, or be an accountant or audit with knowledge about applicable legal guidelines. An accounting diploma is sufficient but it might be better if he may want to take publications in investigative accounting if they may be to be had in Lebanon. In addition they have to have a diploma in accounting with a profound revel in and analytical abilties; a certification might be a plus including CPA or some other certification in accounting and auditing field.
Interviewees additionally said that the certification that would be held by way of forensic accountant to exercise FA is CPA given that it is widely recognized because it’s miles to be had in lots of educational establishments. Almost all respondents conferred a excessive degree of importance for introducing FA within the educational area in the financially corrupted international locations.
Almost all respondents believed that FA ought to gain knowledge of in universities as a route or a graduate important or as case research in an audit associated route. Suggestions additionally covered that FA may be a forte in instructional establishments that supply CPA or another certification associated with auditing or accounting.
Respondents and interviewees also suggested introducing FA via workshops and seminars with the help of specialists and skillful forensic accountants. They also showed acceptance for online academic packages considering DIFA is not available in maximum financially corrupted nations at the same time as it’s far to be had in the USA. Therefore online education could shorten the distance to folks that can not go away work and are involved to be specialized in forensic accounting.
The members also encouraged that the personnel and executives, who are accountable for the financials of the company, have to be knowledgeable and submitted to an intensive schooling to broaden their talents to allow them to hit upon fraudulent sports within the organisation.
In sum, DIFA is designed to provide a large range of understanding and abilities to carry out monetary investigations. Employee and management fraud, robbery, embezzlement, and other monetary crimes are increasing, consequently accounting and auditing personnel have to have schooling and abilties to understand the ones crimes. In addition, excessive-visibility corporate scandals, which include Enron and WorldCom, show the want to better prepare access-stage accounting graduates and training CPAs inside the areas of fraud prevention, deterrence, detection, research, and remediation, Houck et al., (2006). Universities and educational establishments, as can be mentioned in a while, play a essential role in introducing DIFA and different FA related publications, certificate and diplomas. These formal certificates can deepen the students’ information and sharpen their abilities in Forensic Accounting thru trainings beneath the supervision of an skilled forensic accountant, taking part in various international meetings, analyzing relevant journals, books and other literature.
Universities:
Universities play a constituent role in introducing FA due to the fact they are able to manipulate the substances that might learn to the students. Introducing it as a diploma, Forensic Accounting might be one of the majors that exist in universities; the examine proved that there are some educators who are informed within the discipline on the grounds that maximum of them did their doctorate diploma within the USA and UK. Therefore it could be an undergraduate or graduate diploma in the universities.
Concerning the publications, Forensic Accounting will be given as a route in the college in preference to being a major; it may be blanketed as part of accounting, CCE, Law or another essential but custom designed for every area of expertise.
Regarding the case studies, in case FA isn’t taken into consideration as a first-rate or given as a path, it could be highlighted through case research where the students examine many international fraudulent instances and the techniques and the logics that were utilized by forensic accountants to stumble on and display the fraud.
Educational Institutions:
Educational Institutions whole the role of the colleges via protecting the gap when some of the guides and levels aren’t granted by way of the colleges; they might be available in instructional institutes or academies. The primary course of moves that would be taken by using these institutions is granting DIFA which have to be an legit certification given to the experts that need to practice Forensic Accounting of their nations. Yearly or monthly classes must be announced via specialised way of advertising. Moreover, the certification can be incorporation with the government where licensed accountants working of their departments and establishments might be sent to collect it from a reputable educational group. This certificates must be formally diagnosed and authorized from the ministry of training, finance, and justice. The syndicate ought to hire certified forensic accountants able to reading, studying, suggesting regulations, and schooling others.