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SAICA and the ACFE SA launch the Forensic Accounting Forum

Last Updated Friday, August 16, 2013 10:48:19 AM

The Forum is independent from any ‘accounting designation’, and aims to promote the discipline of forensic accounting - to prevent, detect and investigate fraud, recover funds derived from criminal activities as well as obtain financial awards resulting from civil disputes.

Johannesburg, Friday 16 August 2013 – The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners South African Chapter (ACFE SA) have launched the Forensic Accounting Forum (Forum) after both professional bodies identified a need for a forum that would provide a networking platform for accounting professionals who also operate in the area of forensic accounting.

This Forum will function as a user group for forensic accounting professionals and academics to convene on a regular basis to discuss and exchange views, as well as render a support network to interested members. The Forum is independent from any ‘accounting designation’, and aims to promote the discipline of forensic accounting, with the key objectives being to develop knowledge and expertise to prevent, detect and investigate fraud, to recover funds derived from criminal activities as well as to obtain financial awards resulting from civil disputes.

Kelly Masete, SAICA’s project director for Members in Business explains that another key objective of the Forum is to provide information and support to forensic accounting practitioners from both the private and public sectors, faced with technological, benchmarking best practices, as well as continuous educational issues.  “Both SAICA and the ACFE SA envisioned a common umbrella under which to encompass best practices and disciples relating to forensic accounting. As such, the Forum has been established and is built on an academic and research foundation.”

Masete adds that the Forum will also provide and share subject-specific information within the industry of forensic accounting.  “In addition, this Forum will also bridge the gap between academic thought leadership and its practical applications and practices in the real-world and, naturally this Forum will provide a thought leadership platform on matters relating to forensic accounting.”

Whilst the accounting profession is a broad and diverse discipline with many variations and areas of specialisation, Masete confirms that the area of forensic accounting that will be addressed by the Forum will not only benefit practitioners engaged in this area of specialization. “This Forum will also be of interest to accountants and legal practitioners who want to improve their professional skills”, Masete says, confirming that investigative and forensic accounting is a field where the accounting and legal professions join forces in the litigation process.

Jaco de Jager, CEO of ACFE SA agrees that forensic accounting is a management function that is open to individuals of all job functions within the forensic accounting industry and levels of experience who are interested in the prevention, detection and deterrence of fraud. He reiterates that the purpose of the Forum is to support investigative and forensic accounting in a field where there are synergies between the accounting, investigation and legal professions especially during the litigation process. As stated one need to look further than just the numbers as the nature of the various schemes differs. As such the purpose of the Forum is to support its members by providing access to the knowledge, resources and training needed to perform their jobs adequately.

De Jager says there are systems that the Forum has already put in place to enable the members to share information on matters pertaining to forensic accounting and these include the promotion of good forensic accounting practices by:

  • Identifying best practices and benchmarking in the Southern African, international contexts and industry / sector specific contexts
  • Enhancing the relationship and interaction between academia and the profession
  • Facilitating ‘Continuous Professional Development and Education’ within forensic accounting
  • Enabling the sharing of information on matters pertaining to forensic accounting.

“Now that the Forum is fully operational, we encourage all accounting professionals functioning in the area of forensic accounting to please contact us by emailing us at jaco@acfesa.co.za for more information on how to become a member”, de Jager concludes.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Bontle Tsikwe
Communications Coordinator: Corporate
SAICA Communications & Marketing Division
Tel: 011 621 6712
Email: bontlet@saica.co.za

Nkolola Halwindi
Project Director: Communication
SAICA Communications & Marketing Division
Tel: 011 621 6713
Email: NkololaH@saica.co.za

ABOUT SAICA:
The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), South Africa’s pre-eminent accountancy body, is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading accounting institutes. The Institute provides a wide range of support services to more than 35 000 members who are Chartered Accountants and hold positions as CEOs, MDs, board directors, business owners, chief financial officers, auditors and leaders in their spheres of business operation. Most of these members operate in commerce and industry, and play a significant role in the nation’s highly dynamic business sector and economic development.

SAICA serves the interests not only of the Chartered Accountancy profession, but also of society in general through its key objective of upholding professional standards and integrity. The pre-eminence of South African Chartered Accountants [CAs(SA)] nationally and internationally attests to the successes achieved by SAICA on a broad global canvas. SAICA’s members enjoy the privilege of using the highly regarded and prestigious CA(SA) designation. Members of SAICA are subjected to a Code of Professional Conduct, which provides guidelines for ethical and professional behaviour. Fundamental ethical principles to which CAs(SA) are expected to achieve include:

  • Integrity;
  • Objectivity;
  • Professional Competence and Due Care;
  • Confidentiality; and
  • Professional Behaviour.

SAICA members serve on international accounting bodies including; the Trustees of the International Financial Reporting (IFRS) Foundation, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the IFRS Interpretations Committee, the IFRS Advisory Council and the Council of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). SAICA is also a member of The Global Accounting Alliance (GAA). 

For more information visit www.saica.co.za

ABOUT THE ACFE SA:

The need to raise the standard of fraud examination in Southern Africa and for a Professional Body not limited to a specific profession such as accounting or law, resulted in the establishment of a local chapter in 1998 with the mission to provide a community environment in which local forensic examination practitioners can associate. This chapter is a collection of 4500 individuals from all industries and professions, all with a single goal in mind; the reduction of white-collar crime in South Africa.

While an official chapter of the International Association it is important to note that membership of the local chapter is optional and separate from that of the Association. The ACFE SA has Interest Groups in different regions, and neighbouring countries to increase service delivery to our members. These groups meet regularly to promote network and training opportunities in their regions.

As a registered professional body as per the requirements set out in the National Qualifications Framework Act the ACFE SA plays an important role in regulating forensic practitioners, providing training and skills development courses to it’s members, and educating the broader public on fraud and corruption related topics.

Members of the ACFE are subjected to a Code of Ethics and Professional Standard, which provides guidelines for ethical and professional behaviour. Fundamental ethical principles to which members are expected to achieve include:

  • Integrity & Objectivity;
  • Professional Competence and Due Care;
  • Understanding with client and employer;
  • Communication;
  • Confidentiality; and
  • Professional Behaviour.

ACFE members are sought after worldwide as professionals.  The Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential is increasingly being designated as a preferred credential recognized in the hiring and promotion policies of leading organizations, including the FBI, the U.S. Department of Defence, major SA banks, insurance companies and government departments in SA.