Financial Statement Fraud: The Need for a Paradigm Shift to Forensic Accounting

AWOLOWO, Ifedapo (2019). Financial Statement Fraud: The Need for a Paradigm Shift to Forensic Accounting. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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The main aim of this study is to develop a forensic accounting system that will help in reducing financial statement fraud through not only its predictive properties; but also, the recommended forensic accounting procedures and policies which the accounting profession should adopt. This study through a neo-empiricist inductive approach, that is premised on an objective collection of qualitative empirical data, has developed a forensic accounting system by exploring the perception of Accounting Academics, Forensic Accountants, External Auditors and Finance Directors using a purposive sampling method. The findings revealed that the training of professional accountants’, particularly external auditors, in forensic accounting skills, ethics, principles and procedures can increase their fraud detection capabilities which can, in turn, increase the chances of fraud detection in the financial statements and equally serve as a fraud deterrence mechanism. The main output from this study was developed into a model called the "Forensic Accounting system". This model has three elements; Audit Concerns, Education, Accounting Standards and Regulations. These three elements are not mutually exclusive, but one element can be addressed per time. This new system stipulates that in order to reduce financial statement fraud, audit concerns (agency concern, role and responsibility of auditors, management responsibility and odd agency situation) need to be addressed. Of importance in the audit concerns element is the mandate of the auditors. The mandate of external auditors needs to include the detection of fraud in the financial statement. Once the audit concerns have been addressed how auditors are educated will need to change. The changes that are required are some elements of forensic accounting to be incorporated into the curriculum and professional development of auditors. The last element of the new system is the accounting standard and regulations. Those grey areas that allow for the manipulation of the financial statements will need to be closed down by the standard setters. Two key issues here are the concept of materiality and auditors’ responsibility. This study has implication for standard setters on the need to make accounting and auditing standards fit for purpose to complement the corporate governance codes. Higher education and professional bodies should work along the changes in accounting standards and integrate some elements of forensic accounting into the education curriculum of professional accountants in order to increase their chances

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Chan, Dora
Additional Information: Director of studies: Dr Dora Chan
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2019 12:34
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 13:37

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