According to PwC’s 2018 Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey, it is estimated that 49% of global organizations were victims of economic crime and fraud, up from 36% in 2016. Apart from the financial damages incurred, a wider implication is that such cases erodes the confidence that the public would have for the organisation and its leadership.
With a recognition of the impact of fraud on the bottom line and public confidence, organisations are increasingly devoting a large amount of resources towards combating fraud. However, much of these efforts have been from the perspective of detecting the fraud after it had been committed rather than a proactive approach to plug gaps in the system to prevent such frauds in the first place. The result is a reactive, defensive approach towards fraud, favoring detection to prevention. However, to be effective in this fight, a robust system addressing both aspects is required in today’s increasingly complex business environment.
Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs, Mrs Josephine Teo, in her keynote address during the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) Financial Forensic and Cybersecurity Conference on 18 July 2019 commented that “Accountants can step beyond their traditional roles and help businesses fight cybercrime. Forensic accounting, digital forensics and financial crime compliance are critical skills for accountants in combating cybercrime.”
It is upon this premise that the Forensic Accounting and Digital Forensics module is being introduced in the Nanyang MSc Accountancy programme. From July 2019, new students of the programme would be required to take a module in this increasingly important field. The module will equip students with the knowledge of different types of fraud schemes as well as various digital forensic techniques, providing practical insights into the detection of fraud and other economic crime through the use of real-life case studies.
Conceptualised in partnership with PwC South East Asia Consulting, an important industry partner of Nanyang Business School at NTU, this forensic accounting and digital forensics module is another example of the close working relationship between the university and industry to inject relevance into our courses to meet real world business needs. This module will be helmed by two directors and a senior manager from Forensic Services, PwC South East Asia Consulting.