British Journal of Research Open Access

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Communion of Corporate Governance and Forensic Accounting: A Study of an Asian Country

Madan Lal Bhasin

Objective: The fundamental objective of this study is to find out “how can we integrate the expertise of the forensic accounting (FA) to improve the overall corporate governance (CG) scenario prevalent in India?” Since very little research exists in this area, present research is exploratory in nature. This is a preliminary investigation of the necessary skills, and educational and training requirements for Forensic Accountants to improve CG system. We surveyed academics, practicing fraud and forensic professionals in order determine the perceptions of the professional community.
Methods: This paper investigates through a survey study, which was conducted in the National Capital Region of India during 2011-12, “if there are differences in the views of the relevant skills of FA’s among accounting practitioners, academics, and users of forensic accounting services.” Several questions were asked to practitioners, academics and users of forensic accounting services that pertain to solicit their views of “what skills are deemed inherently important to FA’s?”
Results: The findings show that potential practitioners and academic agree that critical thinking, unstructured problem-solving, investigative flexibility, analytical proficiency, and legal knowledge are more important skills of FA’s. Potential practitioners of forensic accounting services rated analysis the more important than did academic staff. Both groups agreed with prospective users, who viewed deductive analysis as very important. The groups did not differ on oral communication, written communication, or composure rankings. Results show that some skills are relevant and important to the outcome of FA education. Educators can use these skills as a guide to direct academic curriculum with the proper learning outcome objectives.
Conclusion: The recent accounting scandals have induced a crisis of confidence in financial reporting practice, and effectiveness of the CG mechanisms. Undoubtedly, a qualified, trained and mature FA professional can prove to be a valuable asset to the corporate-sector, and gradually help to improve their CG system. The FA’s, being professional members of the CG and Audit Committees, can play a far greater role in coordinating company efforts to achieve a cohesive policy of ethical behavior within an organization. By helping companies to detect and prevent fraud, create a ‘positive’ work environment, establish ‘effective’ lines of communication, and be vigilant as a corporate ‘watchdog’, the FA’s role can gradually evolve into a key component in the CG system. In modern, technology-based era, most of the criminals behind fraud use sophisticated technology and accounting tricks to commit complex frauds. To facilitate the preservation, collection, analysis and documentation of evidence, FA’s can use specialized software and computer hardware. The increasing rate of computer-based financial crime has created a huge demand for the skills and services provided by FA’s. We recommend that extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) should be integrated across the accounting curriculum. Recently, Corporate Filing and Dissemination System (CFDS) have implications for the totality of the accounting curriculum and pedagogy. A program for the integration of them across a typical accounting curriculum should be developed soon.