Discover the Art of Uncovering Fraud in Forensic Accounting | Asia Pacific University (APU)

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Discover the Art of Uncovering Fraud in Forensic Accounting

Explore the evolving role of forensic accountants in a tech-driven era, bridging financial investigations with technological innovation.

UNLIKE a forensic scientist, who investigates every inch of a crime scene for clues, a forensic accountant performs similar job duties but with financial regulations and tells the story of how the crime occurred based on evidence from bank statements and ledgers, and this career is becoming extremely popular.

As per the information available on Bank Negara Malaysia’s website regarding financial fraud alerts, over 500 companies are being investigated, indicating that corporate scandals are on the rise.

The number of forensic and ambiguous financial activities is growing worldwide, and forensic accounting and auditing have been established as dynamic and strategic tools in combating corruption, financial crimes and fraud.

Forensic accountants focus on areas including white-collar crimes, mergers and acquisitions, and business litigation, whereas forensic audits evaluate a company’s or individual’s financial information as evidence in court to prosecute someone for fraud, embezzlement or financial claims.

Expertise in forensic accounting and auditing is required. In fact, there is a growing demand for forensic accountants who can analyse and communicate fraud and deception to authorities, business owners, company executives, the media and the general public, particularly in today’s fintech era.

Future-ready forensic accountants and auditors are equipped with fintech skills to handle financial investigations, conduct forensic audits and scrutinise the company’s finances for signs of fraud or incompetence.

The future of forensic accounting

Because blockchain technology has changed how white-collar criminals commit financial crimes, forensic accountants and auditors must develop strong data collection, data analytics, and data visualisation skills.

The Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation’s (APU) Bachelor of Accounting and Finance (Hons) degree with a specialism in Forensic Accounting is specifically designed to provide a competitive advantage through the use of advanced technology in line with the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0).

This programme is intended for full-time professional career advancement, broadening skills and expertise, and increasing graduates’ employability in order to command a higher salary.

Within the programme, students will develop skills to discover and examine forensic accounting evidence through specialised modules.

These include financial risk management, advanced forensic accounting, forensic auditing and information technology, forensic accounting and legal environment, and investigation in forensic accounting.

“Forensic accounting and auditing must be skilled in a wide range of computer software,” says head of school of Accounting and Finance Assoc Prof Chong Lee Lee.

“Presenting evidence for clarity and explaining every aspect of the investigation would be simple and precise with APU’s comprehensive programme related to today’s practices powered by fintech.

“A career as a forensic accountant is fascinating; as fraud continues to rise, there will be more opportunities for new forensic accountants.”

With the modules provided, she is confident that students enrolled in the Forensic Accounting specialism programme will be able to convey financial information effectively and explain complex situations.

Accounting and Forensic Accounting degree programme leader Phuah Eng Sze comments, “APU graduates are prepared to gather information, create reports and provide testimony.

“They are experienced in general accounting and auditing for banks, financial houses, investment firms, insurance companies, private companies and even government agencies, in addition to receiving global recognition.”

APU’s Financial Trading Centre is one of the learning hubs for students in the Forensic Accounting course.

Promising future for forensic accounting graduates

“APU’s Forensic Accounting programme takes the degree to the next level,” says Liew Kar Men, an alumna of the programme.

“The specialism programme was created with a unique blend of fintech to ensure students are aware of digital skills in accounting.”

She landed a job with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Malaysia, one of Malaysia’s Big Four public accounting firms after finishing her final semester.

She acknowledges the course's role in providing a comprehensive foundation for her career, emphasising that APU provided more exposure than she hoped for.

Another alumna, Pvheanushaa Patmanathan, secured a position at BDO Malaysia, underscoring the value of the Forensic Accounting course in her career journey.

APU’s teaching abilities on the current economy, market trends and well-prepared learning materials gave her an extra set of hands as she entered the corporate world.

APU’s modern campus is strategically located in the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation (MRANTI) Park, Kuala Lumpur.

Students who have completed the Bachelor of Accounting and Finance (Hons) with a specialism in Forensic Accounting and diploma programme are eligible for maximum exemption from professional accountancy bodies.

Through the ACCA Accelerate on-demand programme, graduates complete their degree and ACCA papers in three years, allowing them to benefit from lower membership and exemption fees.

In other words, students will be awarded exemptions and could begin their ACCA studies in Strategic Professional papers at level 2, without waiting until the end of level 3.

Students graduating under the APU-DMU dual degree scheme will receive two degree certificates and transcripts: one from APU and another from De Montfort University in the UK.

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