Padgett: Forensic accountants vital

Professional forensic accountant Simon Padgett (far right) with the participants of the three-day Fraud and Corruption Conference and Training at Novotel Lami last week in Lami. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

THE lack of forensic accountants in Fiji and the Pacific as deterrents, may provide the right environment for fraudulent activities, says Canadian expert trainer Simon Padgett.

Mr Padgett, who has been a professional forensic accountant for the past 25 years, said it was important to have forensic accounting knowledge and skills in organisations and governments as a means of safeguarding against perpetrators.

“In the Pacific including Fiji and worldwide, it has been found that where there is a lack of accounting forensics knowledge, fraud is bound to thrive as opportunists take advantage of systems in place,” he said.

Mr Padgett was one of the speakers at the three-day Fraud and Corruption Conference and Training at the Novotel Suva Lami Bay last week which was attended by about 20 executives and heads of audits from various government departments, organisations and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF).

“Participants learnt how to investigate fraud and corruption and how to manage fraud risk in organisations including digital forensics and cyber-crime,” he said in an interview with this newspaper.

“Personnel were taught on identifying basic fraud in organisations including theft of cash and cheques and complex corruption activities, how to identify bribes and corruptions and follow and trace stolen assets which is called money laundering.

“We have been even conducting classes with the various policing departments of government that monitors these sort of criminal activities.”

The workshop is expected to provide participants the tools and knowledge to monitor fraudulent activities within their workplaces.

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