This study is on impact of forensic accounting in an organization. The total population for the study is 200 staff of Uyo local government council of Akwa Ibom state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made of directors, administrative staff, senior staff and junior staff were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies
The growing demand for forensic accounting is a known characteristic of most companies in the world. Forensic accounting arises from the effect and cause of fraud and technical error made by human. Forensic accounting is quite new in Nigeria as companies have realized that the service of a forensic accountant is needed as fraud cases have substantially increased in number. Forensic accounting is the application of financial skills and investigative mentality to unsettled issues, conducted within the context of the rules of evidence (Arokiasamy and Cristal, 2009). Bologna and Lindquistn (1987) assert that forensic accounting as a discipline encompasses fraud knowledge, financial expertise, and a sound knowledge and understanding of business reality and the working of the legal system. Forensic accounting may be one of the most effective and efficient way to decrease and check accounting fraud. Presently, forensic accounting is gaining popularity worldwide. It is been taught as a major course in many educational institutions in various countries, Howard, and Sheetz, (2006). It has been noted that “Government spending has always been a big business, but it has become so massive today that the public through its legislators is demanding to know whether the huge outlays of money are being spent wisely or whether they should be spent at all.” Officials and employees who manage public sector activities are by virtue of that duty, required to render adequate accounts of their activities to the public (Ribadu, 2005). The incidence of fraud continues to increase across private and public sector organizations and across nations. Fraud is a universal problem as no nations is immuned, although developing countries and their various states suffer the most pain. Forensic accounting is said to bring significant improvement in the quality of fraud detection and prevention. This study meant to help and remind the public sector organization of Kogi State, in the affected ministries to design an integrated approach to preventing and controlling fraud and corruption within the workplace through an establish service of Professional Forensic Accountants.
Recently, series of fraud have been committed both in the public sector and private sector of the economy. These in no doubt are perpetrated under the supervision of the internal auditors of the organization. It suffices to say that the independent of the internal auditor is not guaranteed because he works as an employee of the government or organization. Then come the idea of external auditors, yet frauds are still being committed on a daily basis. The above scenario indicated that as more and more development both in the information Communication Technology (ICT) world and other fields, so fraudsters continue to groom their own tactics towards fraudulent practices. It now become pertinent that forensic accounting be introduced and practices since the external auditors do not or may not have the required training to be able to tackle modern frauds like white collar crimes such as security fraud, embezzlement, bankruptcies, contract disputes and possibly criminal financial transaction; including money laundering by organized criminals, also is the ability of the forensic accountant to provide litigation support and investigative accounting. These areas have become a complex area of concern for the accounting profession.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objective of the study is to find out the following:
- To examine the role of Forensic Accountant in an organization.
- To examine the possibility of reducing the occurrence of fraud cases using Forensic Accounting.
- To find out whether Forensic Accountant can help in detecting and preventing fraud in the Public Sector
- To examine if there is significance difference between Forensic Accountants and External Auditors
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: Forensic Accountant does not play role in an organization.
H1: Forensic Accountant plays a significant role in an organization
H02: The uses of Forensic Accounting do not significantly reduce the occurrence of Fraud cases in the public sector.
H2: The uses of Forensic Accounting do significantly reduce the occurrence of fraud cases in the public sector.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The ultimate goal of every organization including public and private sectors is to ensure that preventive measures like forensic accounting should be put in place. This goal can be achieved in Uyo local government council when they employ the services of Forensic Accountant. This study necessary because it would bring significant improvement in the quality of fraud prevention and protection. It would also be of immense benefit to public sector organization in Uyo local government council and Akwa Ibom State at large, to design an integrated approach to preventing and controlling fraud and corruption within the workplace through an establish service of Professional Forensic Accountants. Finally, it would serve as a reference source to students or other researchers who might want to carry out their research on the similar topic.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study concerns about forensic accounting as a tool for fraud detection and prevention in Nigeria with a particular reference to Uyo local government council, Akwa Ibom State. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
- c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
- FORENSIC ACCOUNTING: According to Manning (2002) defined forensic accounting as the application of financial accounting and investigative skills at a standard acceptable by the courts, to address issues in dispute in the context of civil and criminal litigation.
- ACCOUNTING: This is defined as the process of identifying, measuring, and communicating economic information to permit informed judgements and decisions by users of the information (Frank Wood & A. Sangster, 2005).
- ACCOUNTING FRAUD:Accounting fraud is an act of knowingly falsifying accounting records, such as sales or cost records, in order to boost the net income or sales figures; accounting fraud is illegal and subjects the company and the executives involved to civil lawsuits (Arokiasamy and Cristal, 2009).
- FRAUD: fraud is an act or course of deception, deliberately practiced to gain unlawful or unfair advantage; such deception directed to the detriment of another (Anyanwu, 1993).
- DETECTIVE CONTROLS: These controls are designed to detect and report the occurrence of an omission, an error or a malicious act (Adeniji, A. 2004).
- PREVENTIVE CONTROLS: These are controls that predict potentials problems before they occur and make adjustments (Adeniji, A. 2004).
- CORPERATE FRAUD: These are the activities undertaken by an individual or company that are done in an dishonest or illegal manner, and are designed to give an advantage to the perpetrating individual or company (Investopedia, 2015).