Regulation, compliance and the Australian forensic accounting profession

Van Akkeren, Jeanette & Tarr, Julie-Anne (2014) Regulation, compliance and the Australian forensic accounting profession. Journal of Forensic and Investigative Accounting, 6(3), pp. 1-26.

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Legacies of the Global Financial Crisis and major domestic corporate collapses – such as HIH Insurance Pty Ltd and One.Tel Ltd (telecommunications) – have significantly changed Australia‟s financial regulatory landscape. Legal requirements for auditors have attracted particular attention as have practice standards more broadly around disclosure and conflict of interest. Conversely, although successful detection and prosecution of breaches may rest in significant part on forensic accounting activities, Australia‟s practitioners in this field have no minimum training or qualifications standards other than the baseline requirements mandated by the country‟s three professional accounting bodies. For those unaffiliated with these organizations, no professional oversight exists. In Australia, growth in the forensic accounting industry has been in direct response to public demand for expertise in a broad range of fraud, forensic and business analytics areas in order to improve the corporate governance practices of Australian organizations. During the 1990s, Australian forensic accounting firms expanded and diversified into a number of different areas going well beyond just the examination of financial documents and involvement in financial litigation disputes. “Big 4” accounting firms such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Deloitte and Ernst and Young formed independent forensic accounting or forensic services units; a number of mid-tier and „boutique‟ forensic accounting firms similarly expanded into forensic investigative, analytical and advisory services. By 2008, 800 forensic accountants were registered with the country‟s largest specialist forensic accounting group, the Forensic Accounting Special Interest Group (FASIG) of the ICAA1. Currently, obtaining more precise figures on numbers of forensic accounting practitioners is problematic: professional accounting bodies either do not keep a register or have ceased registering their forensic accounting members; lack of formal recognition, admission or certification processes complicate identification of candidates; and diversity of the skills sets the industry requires has meant the influx of non-accounting based specialists.

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ID Code: 78623
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: forensic accounting, investigative accounting
ISSN: 2165-3755
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 12 Nov 2014 22:01
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2014 22:23

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