1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The incidence of fraud and misappropriation of funds in recent time poses a threat to auditing as a branch of accounting profession because of its perennial nature. This has resulted to questions as to whether auditing actually play any significant role towards the attainment of accountability and prevention of fraud especially that which is currently happening in our major or key financial institutions.
Most of our financial institutions today fail to recognize that the phenomenon “fraud” can appear to be more dangerous when compared to other forms of problem like armed robbery attack which can only affect the institution within a short period of time, such may have no long term effect on their operations. However, any significant fraud committed in an institution, not only undermines or shakes up it’s financial stability but can severely affect the reputation of the institution thereby resulting to investor’s loss of confidence.
Most times, the directors write off losses of fraud (including money laundering) under the general heading of “bad debt” rather than admitting that there have been a general failure to exercise or implement proper safeguards in the system of internal checks and control or managerial negligence in applying or perfecting the appropriate oversight to routine business process where institutions funds and assets are at risk. In order to counter, stop and prevent the perpetration of such frauds comes forensic auditing or accounting.
Forensic auditing or accounting is the specialty practice area of accounting that describes engagements that results from actual or anticipated disputes or litigation.
“forensic” means “suitable for use in a court of law” and it is to that standard and potential outcomes that forensic accountants also referred to as forensic auditors or investigative auditors, often have to give expert evidence at the eventual trial of companies and institutions who have committed fraud, in a court of law.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This topic “the usefulness of forensic auditing in prevention and detection of fraud” was conducted to focus on most important problems facing a corporate organization. The failure of statutory audit to prevent and reduce misappropriation of corporate and an increase in corporate crimes has put pressure on the professional accountant and legal practitioner to find a better way of exposing this evil frame in business world such as.
• The problems of loss of customers/depositors
• The persistent increase in business failures fuelled or encouraged by frequent incessant fraudulent activities in our financial institutions.
• The problem of lack of confidence on the part of the investing public to commit their resources to financial institutions due to fraud.
• The problem of how financial institutions to embrace forensic audit as a useful tool in prevention and detection of fraud.