Important work of Accountants with Anti-corruption Agencies
The attributes and skills that accountants have, make them very suitable for work with anti-corruption agencies.
There is a general agreement that corruption ruins the activities of a State, which results in the economic growth being negatively affected. A report in 2017 by the International Federation of Accountants highlights that the accountants can detect and prevent corruption in both business and government.
Most countries have set ups and investigation teams for anti-corruption policies. People who are engaged in such crimes go out of their way to change their information and other details. Accountants, however, have the skill to uncover all this. These are basic things they are taught to them in training. The skills they learn involve deep analysis of data related to finance, but also be categorized in 4 segments; accounting skills, basic analytical skills, advanced skills and management skills.
Let’s start off by discussing:
Agencies dealing with anti-corruption have a different way of dealing with its funds. Usually, these agencies are costly to operate and can be inclusive of elements of subjectivity in cost allocation, for example; when informants are compensated.
Accountants working in finance departments are to provide financial information for the decision makers of the agency. In matters of compliance with State, Federal and Local legal and financial requirements, accountants are required to be more active and vigilant.
Basic analytical skills
It has been reported by financial professionals that they use analytical skills to understand suspect transactions better. This results in better skills at uncovering leads and therefore, obtaining documentary evidence. As example of this; accountants might tally the number of people employed against the suspect’s staffing costs, which will highlight any corruption through the amount of unauthorized payments made.
In contrast to this, they can also do a walkthrough test which will help in identifying a suspect with his activities.
An investigator might begin the process by finding answers to basic questions which will determine the facts of the case; who, when, where, why and how?
In more detailed cases, accountants may need to integrate auditing and accounting with investigative skills; the goal of this would be to collect concrete evidence of the corruption. Some other activities include;
- Interviewing witnesses and suspects and comparing their versions
- Reviewing the findings from forensic labs, intelligence agencies and other investigators, to develop profiles of suspects.
- Sting operations
- Collating information and evidence to support your case in court.
Accountants should have the authority to supervise administration of cases. They also have the right to follow developments in legislative events and political sphere that are related to anti-corruption agencies.
If the case is on a national level, they may have to engage with intelligence and government partners.
Agency staff is also allowed to attend platforms on an international basis if needed, this will bring major stakeholders. Looking at the highest level, this may involve ratifying and signing conventions, such as the UNCAC, UN’s Convention Against Corruption. Identifying and fighting against corruption is not an easy job, which is why accountants should be trained properly and all of them in an agency, juniors to seniors should be involved in cases.