Forensic Conference tackles white collar crime in Africa


Posted on June 14, 2011 15:11

Africa lacks the top quality sleuths who can investigate money laundering, fraud and corruption. New forensic accounting skills are needed to curb the vices, according to experts at the 3rd Forensic Conference for Africa underway in Zimbabwe.

The conference, organized by Zimbabwe based Proctor & Associates Fraud & Risk Consultant, Forensic CPA Society and O’ Sullivan Associates International, both in the U.S., and Cornerstone Training Institute in Kenya, seeks to provide a platform to discuss the application of forensic or investigative accounting as a response to fraud, corruption and money laundering.

According to delegates, the growth of e-commerce being aided by online sales has seen a rise in malicious crimes of computer fraud as perpetrators continue to update their technologies, especially as most state institutions lack proper accounting systems.

Consequently, the high corruption tolerance in most of Africa is as a result of the act being viewed as the only way to get timely service in a public sector infested with inefficiency. And the experts argue that high levels of corruption and fraud are stifling growth in key economic sectors but lack of necessary skills to curb the vices are a hindrance.

Certified fraud examiner and Senior partner at Proctor and Associates, Proctor Nyemba, said technology has an increasingly important role to play with complex data analysis techniques employed to help flag areas that warrant further investigation.?”It offers a toolset that managers can use to help detect and investigate various forms of financial impropriety and inappropriate or inefficient application of resources,” said Nyemba.

Vice President Joice Mujuru, Tuesday, told the conference that governments and public sector should invest in skills to reduce white collar crime.

“Corruption has become acceptable and the levels are such that it will negatively affect economic growth and as such, auditors and forensic work is now required to stop these crimes which sometimes go unnoticed for a long time,” said Mujuru.??

With crime and corruption growing sophisticated, forensic and investigative accounting has become critical in curbing these vices, she said.

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