The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and other groups yesterday disagreed over two bills -Bill for Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors (CIFIA), and the Bill for Chartered Institute of Forensic Accountants of Nigeria (CIFAN).
The promoters of the two bills during a Senate public hearing said the main objective was to entrench forensic accounting and audit in financial investigations of public and private entities.
This, according to them, would help in generating reports that could be tendered and admitted in court for the prosecution of financial crimes.
Presenting their memoranda at the session, promoters of the CIFAN, Prof Usman Ali Awheela and CIFIA, Mrs. Victoria Ayishetu Enape complained that their members are not being allowed to practice forensic accounting and auditing as there was no enabling laws to that effect.
Mrs. Enape said: “If the Bill for Chartered Institute of Forensic Accountants of Nigeria is passed, it will help Nigeria to have skilled professionals to deepen the fraud prevention, detection and preserve money in government treasury for infrastructural development that is fast disappearing in our country today.”
She dismissed fears among stakeholders that the establishment of the proposed professional bodies would trigger conflict with ICAN and other existing accounting bodies.
Also, Awheela argued that forensic accounting is the unique blend of education and experience in applying accounting, auditing skills and investigative techniques to uncover truth, form legal opinions in order to assist in litigation support.
“Forensic accounting professionals provide assistance on cases which are primarily related to calculation and estimation of economic damages and related issues that include white-collar crimes,” Awheela added.