The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has rejected the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors Bill, 2018, which has been passed by the Senate, but waiting for concurrence by House of Representatives.
The institute urged the House of Representatives to discard the bill so as to save the integrity of the accounting profession.
ICAN President, Mr. Razak Jaiyeola, who addressed journalists in Lagos, said, the institute recommended that the bill should be discarded â€œto safeguard the integrity of the noble accounting profession and its various areas of specialisation.â€
â€œAs a responsible professional organisation, ICAN has a public interest mandate to discourage and resist dilution of professional standards and quality.
â€œIt is important to note that forensic and investigative audit is a special area of practice of accountancy that describes engagements resulting from actual or anticipated disputes. Forensic means â€œsuitable for use in a court of law.
â€œForensic accountants, also referred to as forensic auditors or investigative auditors, often have to give expertsâ€™ evidence at eventual trial of relevant cases. Over the years, qualified ICAN members have been practising forensic and investigative accounting and auditing.
â€œThe functions and responsibilities in the proposed Bills for Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria and Chartered Institute of Forensic Accountants of Nigeria are already contained in the 1965 Act that established ICAN,â€ Jaiyeola noted.
He, therefore, argued that it was improper for Section 18 of the proposed Forensic Accountants Bill to criminalise people who are already practising Forensic Accounting before the enactment of the Act.
He, also, condemned imposition of a fine of N50,000 and N100,000 respectively or two years imprisonment against ICAN members, who had already been practicing forensic accounting before the inception of this bill.