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ICAN Objects To 3 Bills For A Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria

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Thursday, November 08, 2018   07:19PM / By ICAN with additional comments by Proshare Investigations

 

We reproduce herewith a message to members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria  (ICAN), by its President on the subject of three bills before the national assembly and the implications, concerns and position of the institute thereof.

 

Read on:

 

Dear Members, 


Bills for Acts to provide for the Establishment of the

  •   “Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria” (HB.1540),
  • “Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria, (HB.1340) and
  •    “Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria, (HB.1455)


Our Case 


  1. I am constrained to draw your attention to a matter of urgent national concern relating to the above-mentioned Bills which are currently under consideration before the House of Representatives.

 

  1. As you are aware, the National Assembly enacted the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Act (CAP 11LFN 2004) as part of its regulatory functions to standardize the practice of Accountancy Profession in Nigeria. In pursuance of its statutory mandates, ICAN has produced over 45,000 members who are engaged in the creation of values in the local and international economy. In line with the provisions of ICAN Act and the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria Act, our members are permitted by law to practise Accountancy in all its ramifications in Nigeria. This has helped to secure the jobs of Nigerians as well as maintain standards in the profession. 

 

  1. Conscious of the multi-dimensional nature of the Accountancy Profession, ICAN proactively created 7 Faculties in year 2001 to build specialist skills and competences of members in Forensic Accounting and Audit, Taxation, Information Technology, Consulting, Public Finance, Corporate Finance, Financial Reporting, Corporate Reengineering and Insolvency.

 

  1. Given the body of knowledge involved, the Council commenced various certification programmes in these core areas of the Accountancy Profession and has produced, in the case of forensic investigation, over 500 Certified Forensic Accountants of Nigeria. 

 

  1. It is against the assertions in paragraphs 2 to 4 above that the Council registers its strong objection to the desire by some Nigerians to obtain the legislative approval of the honourable House of Representatives to float the “Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria” (HB.1540), “Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria” (HB.1340) and “Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria” (HB.1455).

 

  1. When the ICAN Act was passed by Parliament in 1965 and the body was empowered to licence auditors, the honourable members of the House did not contemplate that there would be variants of “Auditor” as the proposed bodies are trying to introduce into the parliamentary lexicon. Today, it is “forensic and investigative auditors”. Tomorrow, there might emerge a body angling to produce “undercover auditors”, “exploratory auditors” or “probing auditors”. How does this promote the national cause? We shudder to think that this peculiar quest for more professional bodies in the Accountancy profession is driven by altruistic and patriotic zeal. They are motivated by private, selfish interest rather than the common good. 

 

  1. It is also worrisome that the Bills seek to criminalise the age-long practice of accountancy by members of ICAN except they become members of the proposed bodies. This, to say the least, would be totally unfair to ICAN members who have been practising forensic accounting and auditing for decades.

 

  1. In addition, there is no defined gap in the practice and regulation of accountancy that the new bills seek to fill. Indeed, a search conducted in the Corporate Affairs Commission did not indicate that the promoters of the bill possess any professional  accountancy or specialist forensic audit and investigative qualifications which they desire to pass on to others for the benefit of society. Nothing in the Bills under consideration indicates that the body or Association and its members have demonstrated a track record of knowledge, competence, ability and professionalism or unique services to warrant being granted legal recognition. It is a common maxim in law that, you cannot give what you do not have. 

 

  1. The functions and responsibilities of the proposed “Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria” (HB.1540), “Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria” (HB.1340) and “Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria” (HB.1455) are already contained in the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria Act Cap 11 LFN 2004. It would therefore amount to needless duplication of functions, waste of scarce and precious legislative hours and resources.

 

  1. Globally, specialist courses are built on foundations of given professions. That is why, no person can be a constitutional lawyer except he first qualifies and is admitted to the legal profession; that is why no one can be a surgeon, except he first qualifies as a medical practitioner and acquires the requisite cognate experience. In this regard, the Accountancy Profession is not different from Law, Medicine or any other reputable profession. 

 

  1. In the case of the Accountancy Profession to which these Bills relate, a person cannot become an Auditor without first acquiring “sufficient appropriate knowledge”, experience and skills and also passing the qualifying examinations of any of the legally recognized Professional Accounting bodies in Nigeria. It is therefore strange for the new body to seek to produce specialist “forensic and investigative auditors” who will not first be professional accountants as defined by the ICAN law enacted by the Parliament.

 

  1. The situation is akin to enacting legislation to establish a professional body to provide services in a sub-set of functions performed by members of a given profession. The subject of Forensic Auditing is a sub-set of Auditing function which is just one aspect of the core subject areas of the Accountancy Profession. 

 

  1. Our Governing Council holds the strong view that the Accountancy Profession, as it currently stands, should be strengthened and made more responsive to the needs of a growing economy like Nigeria rather than fragment and weaken the existing structure. We have therefore written to respectfully request the Honourable House to reject the Bills in their entirety.

 

  1. In this struggle to protect the sanctity of the Accountancy Profession, the Council solicits the support of all members in their various spheres of influence in the hope that the right thing will be done in the interest of the country and the profession.

Thank you.

Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.


Razak Jaiyeola, BSc, ACFE, CRISC, FCA

54th ICAN President



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Reference Material

Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria – NASS doc

 

Excerpts

THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF FORENSIC AND INVESTIGATIVE AUDITORS IN NIGERIA

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I - ESTABLISHMENT OF CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF FORENSIC AND INVESTIGATIVE AUDITORS IN NIGERIA, ITS FUNCTIONS, ETC.

1.        Establishment of the Chartered Institute of  Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria

2.       Membership

PART II - FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE INSTITUTE

3.       Functions and Responsibilities of the Institute

4.       Composition of the Governing Council of the Institute.

5.       Election of President and Vice-Presidents of the Institute.

6.       Qualification for election of the President and Vice-President.

7.       Admission to the Association, classes of members and recognition of national service.

PART II - FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

8.      Funds of the Institute.

9.       Transfer to the Institute of certain properties, etc.

PART III - APPOINTMENT OF REGISTRAR AND OTHER STAFF AND THEIR DUTIES

10.   Appointment of Registrar and other staff and their duties.

11.    Publication of registers of fellows and Chartered members

12.    Qualification for appointment and duties of Deputy Registrar

PART IV - REGISTRATION OF MEMBERS

13.    Registration of members

14.     Approval of qualification

15.    Supervision of instruction and examinations leading to approved qualifications

PART V - PROFESSIONAL DISCIPLINE

16.    Establishment of Disciplinary Tribunal and Investigating Panel

17.    Penalties for professional misconduct

PART VI - MISCELLANEOUS

18.   Offences

19.    Regulations

20.   Rules as to Practice, etc.

21.    Provision of library facilities, etc.

22.   Interpretation

23.   Citation.

 

SCHEDULES

FIRST SCHEDULE - Supplementary Provisions relating to the Council

SECOND SCHEDULE - Supplementary Provisions relating to the Disciplinary Tribunal and Investigating Panel

THIRD SCHEDULE - Transitional Provisions as to Property, etc.

FOURTH SCHEDULE - Professional Bodies

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF FORENSIC AND INVESTIGATIVE AUDITORS IN NIGERIA (FOR THE REGISTRATION AND REGULATION OF MEMBERSHIP)

 

PART I

ESTABLISHMENT OF CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF FORENSIC AND INVESTIGATIVE AUDITORS IN NIGERIA, ITS FUNCTIONS, ETC.

BE IT ENACTED by the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as follows:

1.       Establishment, etc., of the Chartered Institute of  Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria

 

(1)     There is established a body to be known as Chartered Institute of  Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria (in this act referred to as ‘the Institute’)

(2)    The Institute:

(a)     Shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal;

(b)     May sue and be sued in its corporate name; and may acquire, hold and dispose of any property, movable and immovable.

2.       Membership of the Institute

(1)    Subject to the provision of this act, a person admitted to membership of the Institute shall be registered as a member into the following categories:

(a)    Student Member                  (SFIA)

(b)   Member (Associate)                        (AFIA)

(c)    Chartered Member;                         (CFIA)

(d)   Fellow;                                 (FCFIA)

(e)    Honorary Fellow.                             (HFFIA)  

Provided they meet the criteria set by the Council for registration in the respective category from time to time

(2)    A person registered under this Act shall be enrolled to a higher membership status in any of the following categories:

(a)    As a student Member if he:

(i)                 (i) Satisfies the Council that he is eligible to be so registered;

(ii)   (ii) Has obtained such academic, professional or other qualification(s) as may be prescribed by the Council from time to time,

 

(b)   As a Member (Associate ) if he:

(iii)             Satisfies the Council that he is eligible to be so registered;

(iv)  Has obtained such academic, professional or other qualification(s) as may be prescribed by the Council from time to time,

(v)    Does not fall within any of the other categories specified in paragraphs (b)-(d) of this subsection.

(c)    As a Chartered Member if he:

(i)     Satisfies the Council that he is eligible to be so registered and has passed the Institute’s examinations and;

(ii)   Has obtained such academic, professional or other qualifications as may be prescribed by the Council from time to time

(iii) Has acquired on the job practical forensic and investigative auditing or related experience for such number of years that may be specified by the Council;

(iv)  Is neither a Fellow

(d)   As Fellow if he:

(i)                 Satisfies the Council that he is eligible to be so registered,

(ii)   Has obtained such academic, professional or other qualifications as may be prescribed by the Council from time to time,

(iii) Has held senior management positions in organization(s) either in the private or public sector

(iv)  Has for a number of years (to be specified by the council) been a Chartered Member of the Institute.

(v)    Satisfies all other criteria as may be specified by the Council from time to time

(e)    As an Honorary Fellow if he:

(i)     Satisfies the Council that he is eligible to be awarded the fellowship of the Institute.

(3)    A member of the Institute shall be entitled to receive from the council, a letter of registration of membership for the category of membership

(4)    A student member Associate or  Member, Chartered Member, Fellow and Honorary Fellow shall be entitled to the use of such letters after his name as may be authorized by the Council from time to time as follows:

(a)    A member registered into the category of Member (Associate) shall be entitled to use the initials ‘AFIA’;

(b)   A member registered into the category of Chartered Member shall be entitled to use the initials ‘CFIA’;

(c)    A member registered into the category of Fellow shall be entitled to use the initials ‘FCFIA’ and;

(d)   A member registered into the category of Honorary Fellow shall be entitled to use the initials ‘HFFIA’

 

 

PART II

FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE INSTITUTE

3.       Functions and Responsibilities of the Institute

The Institute shall have the responsibility to:

Promote and advance the forensic sciences and Technology in investigations, and use of forensic Auditing system, techniques and mechanisms in audit of financial records of public and private organizations that engender integrity, objectivity and trust in Accounting and Financial Reporting Process to inspire public Confidence in the Nigerian Financial and Economic system and fraud detection, prevention and investigation (in this Act referred to as "the profession") in Nigeria;

(1)    To provide professional association for Forensic auditors, Cyber forensic specialists, Forensic investigators and as a whole true knowledge base for forensic and investigative auditors.

(2)    Provides bona fide qualifications for Chartered Forensic and Investigative Auditors and Chartered Cyber Forensic Specialists through administration of the CFIA/CCFS Examination.

(3)    To develop and improve the technique and practice of forensic audit/forensic investigators and to promote the study of and provide instruction in forensic audit and investigation field.

(4)  To provide excellent opportunities on national and International level to deliver the skills and techniques of Forensic and Investigative Audit.

 

(5)  To collaborate with relevant government organizations in the training of professionals on Forensic and investigative audit.

(6)    To promote and maintain high standards of professional etiquettes and conduct.

(7)    To Requires Chartered Forensic and Investigative Auditors and Chartered Cyber Forensic Specialists (CFIA/CCFS) members to adhere to a strict code of professional conduct and ethics.

(8)   Serves as the international representative for Forensic and Investigative Auditors to business, government and academic institutions.

(9)    To be the world leading forensic audit and investigation institute, and a premier provider of anti-fraud, forensic training and education to inspire public confidence in the integrity and objectivity of Auditing reporting;

 

(10)Provide a professional institute and certification for Forensic and investigative auditors, that will further enhance anti-fraud and forensic training and education amongst members, Cyber Crime forensic specialists and Forensic Investigators

 

 

(11) Offer platform for energetic and practical professionals to learn the techniques that go beyond the basic knowledge of Accounting, Auditing and Finance.

 

(12) Determine the standards of knowledge and skill to be attained by persons seeking to become registered members of the institute and reviewing those standards, from time to time;

(13) To provide excellent opportunities on national and international level to deliver the skills and techniques of forensic and investigative Audit for transparency in advanced audit, anti-fraud and fraud investigation;

 

(14) Promote and maintain high standard professional etiquette and conduct of its members in tune with global best practices;

 

(15) Promote and facilitate the training, education and examination of persons desiring to become professional forensic and investigative auditors and Cyber Crime Forensic Specialist according to the provisions of this Act;

 

(16) Collaborate with Relevant Government organizations to provide anti-fraud and forensic audit skills to internal and external Auditors and others to enable them prevent fraud from taking place. 

 

(17) Promote a specialized organization for qualified and experienced forensic and investigative auditors and accounting students and to do such other things from time to time that may be necessary or desirable to maintain and advance the status and interest of the profession.

(18)To certify members desirous to go into private practice as a Forensic Auditors and those that shall be involved in white crime investigation in Nigeria, after passing the prescribed examination or test.

(19) To be a regulatory body for forensic and Investigative audit in Nigeria

 

(20)            Promote and encourage the study and development of the art and science of thesis, allied subjects, practice and establishment of Colleges of Forensic Accounting, Auditing and investigation for the purpose of a suitable scheme of education and system of examination in the subject of forensic and investigative audit, cyber-crime specialist and allied disciplines for candidates desirous for membership of the institute for the purpose of law down a suitable course of study and scheme of education, to organize proper training and make adequate and comprehensive educational arrangement in the academic and practical fields.

 

(21) Promote knowledge, proficiency, professional skills of its students and members not only in public practice but also in the service and employment of government and semi-government, municipal, industrial, financial institutions and commercial organizations.

 

(22)Arrange and/or organize conferences, seminars, symposia, Trainings, workshops and meetings for discussion of forensic and investigative auditing, Cyber Crime Forensic specialist and related matters; reading of papers and delivery of lectures, periodic issue of journals of the Institute, publishing copies of abridgement of papers, books, post qualification courses, lectures, records and other memoranda to increase knowledge, professional skills and efficiency of its students and members both in the private and public sector;

(23)Perform such functions as are incidental to the objects or as the Council may deem necessary for the attainment of all or any of the objects of the Institute from time to time.

  


 

 

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