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

DIFA, Diploma of Investigative and Forensic Accounting, is getting acceptance due to their importance in facing corruptive business practices and financial theft. Nevertheless , the deficiency of Forensic Accounting (FA) is still noticed in countries of opaque business practices. Furthermore, only few universities across the world are introducing DIFA, thus a major work must be done to shed the light on the value of the diploma in the first place and then offer it as an official diploma with classes relating to FA whether in universities or financial institutions. accounting

The major concern is based on the fact that Forensic Accounting is neither provided in universities as a degree or diploma, nor at financial organizations to find fraud and make legal court studies. In many universities of Canada and america, the DIFA, is being within the curriculum in order to recruit new students and provide skills set for career advancement through development of a specialized specific niche market. One of many objectives of the Alliance for Excellence in Investigative and Forensic Accounting (Alliance), established by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), is to develop and manage a specialist documentation program. This kind of diploma is designed as a thorough program for someone who wishes to practice in this area. CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT, CFA, CIA are good examples of certificates granted in Lebanon, yet , no diploma or degree is available related to Forensic Accounting. Consequently, it could be a diploma or degree given in language classes that grant CPA or any type of other documentation related to auditing or accounting.

Furthermore, the value of adopting FA in the universities’ accounting programs is highlighted especially that its demand for it is increasing gradually. This kind of adoption has a huge probability of enhance students’ skills and competencies and could be used as a veritable resource from where fraud could be mitigated. Fresh graduates can as well attain the DIFA program that provides a broad variety of knowledge and skills to handle financial research. This range includes accounting, audit, tax knowledge, fraudulence knowledge, familiarity with law and rules of evidence, an investigative mentality and critical skepticism, knowledge of psychology and motivation, and strong communication skills (Stott, 2005).

The program focuses on knowledge and skills that can be best taught and examined personally: such as handling a face-to-face appointment with a client, selecting skills, and testifying in court as an expert witness. DIFA supports accountancy firm with the information and skills needed to bridge the gap between existing quantification models and principles and different litigation contexts (Stott, 2005).

Based on detailed statistics of survey results conducted in Lebanon, being a country of morne business practices, to identify the certificates which a forensic accountant must own demonstrated that:

59. 09% of the respondents thought that all a forensic scrivener really should have a DIFA;
thirty-one. 82% proposed that CPA (CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT) is the needed record (Certified Public Accountant);
20. 91% thought that CFA is the proper one (Chartered Financial Analyst);
10. 00% mentioned various certification.
2. 12% of the participants didn’t find it necessary to have any recognition to become a forensic accountant.
Furthermore, the regards between occupation and the respondents’ view about the types of certifications that the forensic accountant must have got was also studied. The pursuing breakdown shows the proportions of respondents who offered that DIFA is the important recognition depending on job occupation.

69. 10% of the respondents doing work in financial or insurance
51. 60 per cent of the respondents working in finance
72. 70 percent of the respondents doing work in education
80% of the respondents working in management
Yet , almost all of the participants in the accounting field thought that all CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT (CPA) is the sort of documentation that should be possessed by the forensic accountant with a 77. 10%. Persons employed in accounting usually are likely to pursue a CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT (CPA) degree for the help it provides in this domain.

In addition to the above, the relationship between experience and the respondents’ view about the types of recognition that a forensic accountant must have got was also studied. The results, depending on those who choose DIFA as the needed certificate, were as follows:

most respondents with more than two years’ experience thought that DIFA is the needed documentation to practice FA
fifty-one. 90% of respondents with 2 years’ experience and less thought that DIFA is the needed documentation to train FA;
68. a majority between 2 and 6th years of experience thought that DIFA is the needed documentation to rehearse FA;
55. 40% of people with less than 2 years or any experience at all thought that CPA (CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT) is the sort of documentation which should be possessed by the forensic accountant.
Moreover, the research conducted answered the question whether or not the respondents approve that the DIFA should be contained in the Lebanese university programs. It demonstrates that:

ninety-seven. 88% of the participants accepted having a DIFA in the universities;
2. 12% of which didn’t agree to having a DIFA in the universities;
This is particularly important since almost all of the Lebanese people are in the stage of pursuing their educational levels of that the highest ratio is studying finance.

Helping the results of the surveys, interviews were also conducted to know about the sort of certificates that a FA must hold. Many respondents approved that there should be a recognition approved to a forensic scrivener. This can be specified with what the accounting administrator at “Malia Group International Company” (with 5 years of experience) explained by saying: “It should be taught in universities and the business owners should request in their opportunities for an accountant with a certain certifications such as DIFA”

The interviewees’ answers stressed that it should be introduced in all universities and educational institutions leading to a certificate (DIFA), and individuals should have knowledge and a diploma in accounting and auditing. As one interviewee, a partner at Bureau d’Analyse et de Version Comptable (BARC) for auditing and taxation (with 33-36 years of experience) identifies: “It is a way to prevent corruption this is why I stipulate that it should be taught in universities because I strongly agree that it is implemented”. Relating interviewees’ advice to add FA in university programs, the head of audit division at “professional auditors” (11 years of experience) declares: “FA is important for cheating methods, it can be introduced in universities”.