The state of forensic accounting: South Africa versus the United States of America
Keywords:Forensic accounting, Jurisdictions, South Africa, State of forensic accounting, USA
As a multi-faceted emerging profession, forensic accounting is surrounded by some issues, controversies, and challenges among them lack of consensus on the entry requirements and certification of the profession, misconstruction of the innate goal of forensic accounting, and the lack of consensus on the teaching pedagogies of forensic accounting. The claim of ownership of forensic accounting by different professional bodies in different jurisdictions also exacerbates these challenges. With these issues surrounding the profession, this study sought to examine the state of affairs of forensic accounting in a developed economy, USA, and a developing economy South Africa. The comparison was based on the following criteria: certification; the profession issues; constitutional and judicial issues; and legal and regulatory issues. The study employed a desktop literature review methodology involving an in-depth review of relevant and current literature. The paper found that both countries share a similar status of the forensic accounting profession only on the profession issues. Differences were noted on the certification; constitutional and judicial issues; as well as the legal and regulatory issues. To date, the profession is regulated in both jurisdictions but it happened in 2000 in the US and 2013 in South Africa. It can therefore be concluded that the similarity in forensic accounting profession status for the two jurisdictions is based only on the profession criteria with differences existing in the certification; constitutional and judicial; and legal and regulatory issues. The paper recommends more studies on comparing the status of the profession in other jurisdictions because extant literature still alludes to unresolved issues and challenges on forensic accounting in some jurisdictions.
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