Forensic Accountants Assist in Fraud Prevention

Posted by Abdullah Aldahmash.

As the article begins, “to survive in this age of austerity and fraud,” there is a requirement for a more quick-witted and more refined arrangement of accountants, prepared to offer experiences and answers for all methods of business. This incorporates not just representing legitimate direct of business and reinforcing inbuilt process controls, yet in addition techniques for the discovery and avoidance of extortion and unfortunate behavior. In the beginning of the financial downturn, the accounting profession had experienced radical changes because of accounting catastrophes, e.g. Enron and WorldCom. Forensic accounting is an integration of accounting, auditing, and investigative skills. There is interest for it as general society is compelled to manage financial downfalls, and an ascent in desk violations and misquotation of money related data. Financial misstatement is one of the highest constituents of fraud today. It is the “deliberate misrepresentation of the financial condition of an enterprise, accomplished through purposeful misstatement or oversight of amounts or disclosures in the financial statements to fool users.”

According to the article, corruption, asset misappropriation, and fraudulent financial statements are the main reasons for the financial misstatement. Corruption includes fraudulent situations in the nature of conflict of interest, bribery, illegal gratuities and “economic extortion.” Asset misappropriation includes “skimming and larceny of cash, fraudulent billing, payroll and reimbursements, and misuse and larceny of assets.” Finally, fraudulent financial statements includes inappropriate representation of liabilities and expenses, inappropriate disclosures in financial statements, inappropriate valuation of assets and inventory, inappropriate realisation of revenue, and “timing differences.”

To prevent fraud in the future, a forensic accountant should keep in mind many key rules that absolutely will help them to be more efficient regarding handling the fraud. These keys are:

Improper composition of the Board of Directors or Audit Committee; improper oversight or other neglectful behavior by the Board of Directors or audit committee; weak or non-existent internal controls or process controls, including an ineffective internal audit function and improper conduct of external audits; unusual  or extensively complex transactions; financial  statements requiring significant subjective judgment by the management; rapid growth or unusual profitability, especially when compared with industry peers; recurring negative cash flows or inability to generate positive cash flows; significantly high transactions with related entities not in the ordinary course of business; inappropriate disclosure of related-party transactions; uncommon changes in the relationship between fixed assets and depreciation; uncommon increase in gross margin or profitability compared with industry peers; immoral standards: recurring  attempts by the management to justify marginal or inappropriate accounting on the basis of materiality; sophisticated organisation structure involving uncommon legal entities or managerial lines of authority; central administration; significant operations in places considered tax havens, with no clear business justification.

Abdullah is a graduate accounting student at the Feliciano School of Business, Montclair State University, Class of 2017.


Anand, D. Elementary, my dear retail investor. The Hindu BussinessLine. Retrieved from: –