Rishla Jabbar & Ancy Jacob
Students of VIIth semester, B.Com, LLB,
School of Legal Studies, CUSAT
Since centuries, fraud has been prevailing as a continuous enigma in every human society and thus poses a huge threat to the wellfunctioning of every civilised society. It entered the corporate business field as an inevitable but unwanted consequence of the fast-paced economic and technological growth. Fraud can be defined as a conduct involving use of dishonest and deceitful means to obtain unjust advantage or gain. Corporate fraud is one that occurs within the organisation and involves deliberate dishonesty that could deceive the public, investors or lending companies. The consequences of corporate fraud are not limited to financial loss but also include reputation losses, cultural losses, loss of customer relationship, loss of trust in the reliability of financial information and low team morale. The failure of the statutory audits to detect, prevent and reduce corporate frauds and other irregularities necessitated proper investigation as well as a strong preventive environment. The Companies Act, 2013 introduced stringent provisions ranging from increasing the role and duties of independent directors and that of the auditors to statutorily address the growing problem of corporate frauds. In this scenario, the concept of forensic accounting also started assuming great significance. Forensic accounting is a specific area of accounting which investigates fraud and analyse financial information which can be utilized in civil and criminal litigation. It requires forensic accountants to adopt a questioning mind-set and critical assessment of audit evidence in assessing audit risk of fraud. The role of forensic accountants is not limited to fraud detection but also assisting in litigation in courts, hence a forensic accountant assignment must be of such quality that it can withstand scrutiny by attorneys, judges and juries. Fraud examination in forensic accounting is different from ‘traditional accounting’ because the forensic accountant detects the fraud and prevents it with his intuitive abilities.
Keywords: Forensic accounting, fraud detection, fraud prevention, fraud examination