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

DIFA, Diploma of Investigative and Forensic Accounting, is gaining attractiveness because of its importance in dealing with corruptive enterprise practices and monetary robbery. However, the absence of Forensic Accounting (FA) remains observed in international locations of opaque commercial enterprise practices. Furthermore, best few universities internationally are introducing DIFA, therefore a first-rate work must be performed to shed the light on the significance of the diploma in the first place after which offer it as an legitimate degree with guides relating to FA whether or not in universities or financial institutions.
The major situation lies inside the reality that Forensic Accounting is neither provided in universities as a degree, nor at economic institutions to detect fraud and make felony court docket reports. In many universities of Canada and the United States, the DIFA, is being included inside the curriculum so as to recruit new students and provide talents set for career development through improvement of a specialized area of interest. One of the goals of the Alliance for Excellence in Investigative and Forensic Accounting (Alliance), mounted with the aid of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), is to expand and manipulate a expert certification program. This diploma is designed as a comprehensive software for someone who wishes to practice on this region. CPA, CFA, CIA are examples of certificate granted in Lebanon, however, no degree is available related to Forensic Accounting. Therefore, it is able to be a diploma given in instructional establishments that grant CPA or another certification associated with auditing or accounting.
Furthermore, the importance of adopting FA in the universities’ accounting curriculum is highlighted specially that its demand for it is increasing progressively. Such adoption has a huge capacity to beautify college students’ amazon accounts for sale and talents and will be used as a veritable resource from which fraud can be mitigated. Fresh graduates can as well reap the DIFA program that provides a large range of knowledge and competencies to perform economic investigations. This range includes accounting, audit, income tax information, fraud know-how, know-how of law and policies of evidence, an investigative mentality and essential skepticism, information of psychology and motivation, and strong verbal exchange abilities (Stott, 2005).
The software makes a speciality of expertise and capabilities that can be satisfactory taught and examined in character: inclusive of handling a face-to-face meeting with a purchaser, interviewing capabilities, and testifying in court as an expert witness. DIFA supports accountants with the understanding and abilties needed to bridge the distance among existing quantification fashions and standards and exclusive litigation contexts (Stott, 2005).
Based on descriptive facts of survey results performed in Lebanon, being a country of opaque enterprise practices, to discover the certificate that a forensic accountant need to possess showed that:
59.09% of the respondents thought that a forensic accountant ought to have a DIFA;
31.82% proposed that CPA is the wished certificates (Certified Public Accountant);
20.Ninety one% notion that CFA is the proper one (Chartered Financial Analyst);
10.00% noted other varieties of certification.
2.12% of the respondents did not find it vital to have any certification to come to be a forensic accountant.
Furthermore, the relation among occupation and the respondents’ opinion approximately the styles of certifications that a forensic accountant need to own became also studied. The following breakdown suggests the chances of respondents who proposed that DIFA is the vital certification based on job career.
Sixty nine.10% of the respondents running in banking or coverage
51.60% of the respondents running in finance
72.70% of the respondents running in training
80% of the respondents operating in management
However, most of the respondents within the accounting field notion that CPA is the kind of certification that should be possessed by using the forensic accountant with a 77.10%. People running in accounting typically generally tend to pursue a CPA degree for the help it presents in this domain.
In addition to the above, the relation among experience and the respondents’ opinion approximately the styles of certification that a forensic accountant must own was also studied. The outcomes, based totally on those who select DIFA as the wanted certificate, had been as follows:
maximum respondents with more than two years’ enjoy idea that DIFA is the needed certification to exercise FA
51.Ninety% of respondents with 2 years’ revel in and much less notion that DIFA is the wished certification to practice FA;
sixty eight.80% between 2 and 6 years of enjoy thought that DIFA is the wanted certification to exercise FA;
fifty five.Forty% of those with less than 2 years or no experience in any respect idea that CPA is the kind of certification that need to be possessed by means of the forensic accountant.
Moreover, the surveys conducted answered the query whether the respondents approve that the DIFA need to be blanketed within the Lebanese university programs. It demonstrates that:
97.88% of the respondents ordinary having a DIFA inside the universities;
2.12% of them failed to accept having a DIFA in the universities;
This is mainly essential due to the fact that most of the Lebanese human beings are in the level of pursuing their educational tiers of which the highest percent is studying finance.
Supporting the outcomes of the surveys, interviews were additionally performed to understand approximately the kind of certificates that a FA should preserve. Most respondents permitted that there must be a certification granted to a forensic accountant. This may be illustrated by what the accounting manager at “Malia Group Multinational Company” (with 5 years of enjoy) said through saying: “It must gain knowledge of in universities and the business proprietors should request in their vacancies for an accountant with a certain certifications consisting of DIFA”
The interviewees’ solutions stressed that it have to be delivered in all universities and educational establishments main to a certificate (DIFA), and applicants should have knowledge 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) places it: “It is a way to save you corruption this is why I specify that it must be taught in universities because I strongly agree that it’s miles carried out”. Relating interviewees’ pointers to consist of FA in college packages, the pinnacle of audit department at “professional auditors” (eleven years of enjoy) states: “FA is important for dishonest methods, it is able to be added in universities”.
Interviewees gave different responses and pointers about what is wanted to perform Forensic Accounting. One interviewee coded that: “There are precise teaching packages which includes CPA and there are special packages for certified financial forensic and DIFA”(Partner of an audit and taxation company “Bureau d’Analyse et de Revision Comptable with 33-36 years of revel in). Thus interviewees notion that a forensic accountant ought to be an experienced auditor or has a deep information in laws; the sort of certification needed will 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 pinnacle of the audit branch at expert Auditors indicated that: “Of direction 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 diploma there”.
Other interviewees stated that FA need to glaringly have a degree in accounting besides the wanted enjoy so that it will come across suspicious acts, or have a BA degree with problems related to fraud and disclosure, CPA is a plus, or maybe have CFE. A lecturer and former companion at KMPG (with 15 to 17 years of revel in) commented in this remember by means of saying: “On the educational degree the first-class certification would be CFE if every person wants to be worried in that topic he need to cross for such certification specialized in fraud examination”.
If all and sundry seeks to be involved in this area he must cross for such certification specialised in fraud exam. Others said that FA already has CPA or long revel in. Furthermore, a forensic accountant, as an auditor have stated: “must have investigative competencies and you have to do the proper schooling which will be capable”. Other interviewees also mentioned that a forensic accountant have to have investigative competencies and go through proper training which will be in a position or be a licensed accountant with certain abilities and experience; the certifications wished are an accounting degree or a regulation diploma for the reason that forensic accountant may additionally must testify in courts. Or have a proper training in fraud; certifications may be CPA or CFE.
Another essential declaration coded from the interviewees is that “To grow to be a forensic accountant, you want to be a certified accountant with certain competencies and enjoy, the certifications wanted are accounting diploma or regulation diploma for the reason that forensic accountant should testify in courts” (Accounting Manager at Malia Group, with eight years of enjoy).
In different phrases, FA accountants need to be accountants inside the first place, no specialized certification, however need to be worried in schooling workshops or seminars that help enhance his know-how and abilities, or be an accountant or audit with understanding approximately applicable laws. An accounting diploma is sufficient but it’d be better if he ought to take publications in investigative accounting if they’re available in Lebanon. In addition they must have a degree in accounting with a profound enjoy and analytical abilities; a certification could be a plus which includes CPA or some other certification in accounting and auditing subject.
Interviewees additionally suggested that the certification that would be held by way of forensic accountant to exercise FA is CPA considering that it is widely recognized because it’s miles available in many instructional institutions. Almost all respondents conferred a high degree of importance for introducing FA within the instructional sector in the financially corrupted nations.
Almost all respondents believed that FA ought to be taught in universities as a course or a graduate essential or as case research in an audit associated direction. Suggestions additionally protected that FA can be a distinctiveness in educational institutions that provide CPA or every other certification related to auditing or accounting.
Respondents and interviewees also recommended introducing FA through workshops and seminars with the help of professionals and skillful forensic accountants. They additionally showed popularity for online instructional packages on account that DIFA isn’t always available in maximum financially corrupted international locations at the same time as it is to be had in the USA. Therefore on-line schooling could shorten the distance to individuals who can’t leave work and are interested to be specialized in forensic accounting.
The members additionally advocated that the employees and managers, who are responsible for the financials of the business enterprise, ought to be knowledgeable and submitted to an in depth training to expand their talents to permit them to stumble on fraudulent sports within the employer.
In sum, DIFA is designed to provide a vast variety of know-how and competencies to carry out economic investigations. Employee and management fraud, theft, embezzlement, and different economic crimes are growing, therefore accounting and auditing employees need to have training and skills to recognize those crimes. In addition, high-visibility corporate scandals, which includes Enron and WorldCom, reveal the need to better prepare access-degree accounting graduates and working towards CPAs inside the areas of fraud prevention, deterrence, detection, investigation, and remediation, Houck et al., (2006). Universities and academic institutions, as can be discussed afterward, play a vital function in introducing DIFA and different FA related publications, certificates and diplomas. These formal certificate can deepen the scholars’ understanding and sharpen their talents in Forensic Accounting through trainings underneath the supervision of an skilled forensic accountant, collaborating in various global conferences, analyzing relevant journals, books and other literature.
Universities:
Universities play a constituent role in introducing FA due to the fact that they can control the materials that might be taught to the scholars. Introducing it as a diploma, Forensic Accounting will be one of the majors that exist in universities; the observe proved that there are some educators who’re knowledgeable within the subject on the grounds that most of them did their doctorate diploma in the USA and UK. Therefore it could be an undergraduate or graduate degree inside the universities.
Concerning the publications, Forensic Accounting might be given as a course inside the university instead of being a first-rate; it is able to be included as a part of accounting, CCE, Law or every other principal however customized for each specialty.
Regarding the case studies, in case FA isn’t always taken into consideration as a prime or given as a route, it may be highlighted through case studies wherein the students examine many international fraudulent cases and the techniques and the logics that were used by forensic accountants to detect and monitor the fraud.