WHY AFIA? – A Speech From the President
Association of Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria (AFIA) is the world’s leading forensic audit and investigation organization and premier provider of anti-fraud and forensic training and education. Together with our members, AFIA is providing forensic audit and investigative skills world-wide and inspiring public confidence in the integrity and objectivity within the profession.
VISION: Transparency in Audit that engender confidence and trust in Accounting/Auditing process and reporting.
MISSION: The world’s leading forensic Audit and investigation, and a premier provider of anti-fraud and forensic training to inspire public confidence in the integrity and objectivity of our systems and fraud investigation.
OUR Core Mandate is to provide forensic audit and investigative skills world-wide, and assist the Federal government of Nigeria in particular to give adequate training to external and internal Auditors in both public and private organisation, to enable them have all it takes to block the loopholes of fraud with the use of technological tools and sophisticated mechanism in order to stop the looting of public funds as it were.
WHAT DIFFERS TRADITIONAL AUDIT FROM FORENSIC AUDIT?.
Traditional Auditors look at financial statements and vouchers, but Forensic Auditor look beyond and behind financial statement as they focused on Investigative Audit in search of financial fraud by finding the inadequacies and shortcomings in the existing system and block the loopholes. Forensic auditors have superior eyes and indeed four eyes to see and detect what traditional auditors cannot see. In summary, Forensic Auditors are detective because they see what traditional auditor cannot see.
Financial frauds have from time immemorial affected all establishments and no one is immune to frauds, but they often go undetected due to inadequacies in the system. Recent happenings in most parts of world has exposed the growing greed of human being and art of camouflaging of accounting facts through deception by indulging in fraud and manipulation, depending upon the position that one holds.
As you are aware, Nigerian government have lost billions of Naira and dollars in the past few years to fraud which has led us into the current economic recession, and this is due to the inability and inadequacies of traditional auditing process and reporting. There was a case of a missing $20m oil revenue funds at NNPC in 2014, yet we have auditors that could not detect it, simply because fraudsters have gone advanced and become sophisticated and it was not possible for traditional auditors who are living in the past (analogue) to detect anything. Nigerian government needed to bring foreigners and spent millions of dollars for forensic auditing of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). If you calculate the missing fund with the forensic audit fee, you will discover that a lot of money was spent just to get the fact.
Alarming increase of financial fraud, inability of internal audit and limitation of statutory audit to sniff out the financial fraud has given rise to new profession known as Association of Forensic and Investigative Auditors. It is said that if there is a third world war it will not be fought with arms and ammunition. It will be a ‘Cyber War’. Along with an increase in technology development and technology dependency day by day, threats of attacks and frauds are also increasing with the same magnitude. These are white collar fraudsters who does not seat at the place of crime and creates havoc for any government or a company sitting thousands of miles away at their home. These has created an urgent need of an army of “Forensic Auditors”. With this I wish to bring out to my hearers about the development in the field of forensic audit and fraud detection and prevention.
“There is enough in this world for every man’s need, but there isn’t enough for every man’s greed.” – Mahatma Gandhi
The Forensic Auditors have special professional knowledge, skills and sophisticated mechanism and tools to Investigate, evaluate and examine the accounting transactions thereby linking Data, Knowledge, and insight together to detect financial fraud and prevent potential wrongdoings.
Sniffing out frauds is an art, which needs a mind-set that understands the intricacies and the language of the fraudster, for which statutory and internal audit is not adequate and there is need to urgently arm ourselves. During our Investigative Audit and System Analysis we can sniff (perceive) out scores of Frauds & White-Collar Crimes of high value, with the aid of our special skills and sophisticated forensic mechanisms and technological tools.
Our team of Forensic Auditors and Investigators are thoroughly trained and will not only find financial discrepancies, they’ll find out who, what, where, why, when and how the wrong took place. More importantly, we'll help you put together and implement the right systems and meaningful controls to prevent internal and external fraud from happening again.
It is no longer news that Fraud and corruption has destroyed Nigeria system and it has no signs of stopping, yet we have auditors in places who have failed to detect such frauds due to lack of special skills and mechanisms, thereby making Nigeria government to lose millions of dollars and billions of naira annually. As such, Forensic Audit and Investigative training is essential to build appropriate controls which are meaningful and effective.
A common failure in many organisations and business systems is that these controls are largely set by employees who have no experience on reading fraudsters mind. They do not have adequate knowledge on what can go wrong, therefore these controls become more of Management Information System (MIS) than controls to prevent wrong. Better the training, better the controls and lesser the risk of fraud. No fraud, however big is technically sophisticated, only lack of control has helped it to go through in the absence of perfect training. Therefore all government organisations need to have well trained team who understand the nitty-gritty of frauds, why they happen, how they can be prevented, detected and how best to move forward once the frauds surface.
Why do we need Forensic and Investigative Audit?
Corruption in Nigeria public sector has moved to a stage where looters are now engaging sophisticated digital technologies in perpetrating fraud. Any country that has not bought into forensic and investigative audit is lacking behind.
How do you think you can use analogue to tackle digital?
You need digital to tackle digital. Therefore Nigeria must move at par with other countries of the world by adopting forensic and investigative audit if the fight against corruption must see the light of the day. On this note, I hereby declare this advance forensic and investigative audit training opened.
DR MRS ENAPE VICTORIA AYISHETU, PhD, FFIA,
FCNA, FCTI, FCSA, CIPFA