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India needs 6,000 forensic accountants

india Updated: Feb 01, 2009 20:57 IST

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Forensic accountants are now in a position to turn the Satyam scandal into an opportunity during tough times for getting jobs, as the country needs more than 6,000 such professionals to check corporate frauds in India, a latest report suggests.

“There is an acute shortage of forensic accounting skill sets in India. At least 6,000 forensic accountants are required to fight corporate frauds in the country effectively,” said a latest report by Indiaforensic Consultancy Services on forensic accounting in India.

“Huge demand for forensic accountants has come up in the wake of the requirements from the investors after the Satyam fiasco,” said Mayur Joshi, CEO of Indiaforensic Consultancy Services, a Pune-based anti-fraud education and consultancy service provider.

According to the report, there are only 400 forensic accountants in the country though India loses approximately $40 billion because of frauds.

“There is one forensic accountant to handle the fraud worth $0.1 billion (Rs 480 crore). If the shortage continues then India might witness some really serious frauds," Joshi said.

Forensic accountants are trained to detect evidence of frauds in financial statements. “Forensic accountants go beyond the numbers and try to analyse 100 per cent of the data as against the sampling procedures used by auditors. When the extended procedures are invoked, cases like the overvaluation of the sales or debtors become easy to investigate,” he said.

“We have 10 CFEs (certified fraud examiners) and around 30 forensic consultants to detect and protect companies from frauds. They are now active as request from companies for their services expands,”Joshi said.