No Accounting For Fraud: Governance and Forensic Accounting
Corporate frauds and scandals of recent years, and the resultant public outcry for improved transparency and honesty have stimulated the rise of two desperate entities. First, public demand for greater vigilance from all parties involved in organizational governance and subsequent regulatory frameworks has transformed corporate governance practice. This followed particularly from the corporate frauds and audit failures at Enron, WorldCom and other companies. Second forensic accounting skills have become very important in unraveling accounting frauds that are difficult to discover with normal accounting techniques. This paper examines the theoretical perspective of how the integration of forensic accounting mechanisms in corporate governance can help in preventing corporate fraud. It is shown that with knowledge in accounting, auditing and investigative skills, the forensic accountant can play greater role in coordinating company's efforts to achieve a cohesive policy of ethical behavior within the organization. Corporations can rely on forensic accountant's knowledge of internal control systems, law, investigative and interpersonal skills in developing a consistent system of corporate governance, communicating same within and
outside the company and ensuring that the policies and objectives are incorporated into the internal control system. Such skills can also be used in setting up fraud prevention systems and investigating existing fraud. The paper recommends forensic accounting services for corporate entities to enhance corporate governance.