A forum for fraud-fighting faculty in higher ed

Pioneers in the world of Masters of Forensic Accounting

By Mary-Jo Kranacher, MBA, CFE, CPA

Fraud EDge 


I'm happy to share some news with you from one of our members, halfway around the world, about another program devoted to the fight against fraud. Unlike other institutions, which offer forensic and fraud studies as a specialization or concentration of a generic accounting degree, the Master's of Forensic Accounting (MFA) degree at the University of Wollongong in Australia is unique because it's solely dedicated to the study of forensic accounting and fraud examination. Following is information and some history of this program by Dr. Annamaria Kurtovic, lecturer in the School of Accounting and Finance, and one of the three members of the core teaching team.

In Dec. 13, 2005, the University of Wollongong celebrated the graduation of its first four students from its Master's of Forensic Accounting Program. Wollongong is a medium-sized city about a 90-minute drive south of Sydney, Australia. The university has an enrollment of more than 21,000 domestic and international students at undergraduate and postgraduate level. In 2004, the university commenced one of the first forensic accounting programs not only in Australia but the world.

The word "forensic" essentially means that material is being collected and assembled for presentation in court or another public forum. The aim of the Master's of Forensic Accounting Program is to provide for the acquisition of skills that will facilitate conducting an investigation in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, gathering evidence as the basis of an expert report, and defending that report in court, if necessary. Furthermore, the role of the forensic accountant envisioned by the program extends beyond litigation support to management consulting including risk assessment and the design and implementation of effective control mechanisms. While a majority of the reading content for the subjects comes from articles and actual cases, we also use the textbook, "The Principles of Fraud Examination," by Joseph T. Wells, CFE, CPA, founder and Chairman of the ACFE.




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