FORENSIC AUDITING AND FINANCIAL FRAUD IN NIGERIAN DEPOSIT MONEY BANKS (DMBS)
This study examined the effect of forensic auditing on financial fraud in Nigerian (DMBs). The study adopted cross sectional survey design. The population of the study comprised the staff of banks and audit firms in Abeokuta, Ogun State. The study used purposive sampling technique for questionnaire administration while logistic regression analysis was used for data analysis. The results of the study revealed that forensic audit has significant effect on financial fraud control in Nigerian (DMBs) with P value (0.007) which is less than 0.05 and that forensic audit report significantly enhances court adjudication on financial fraud in Nigeria with P value (0.000) which is less than 0.05. The study concluded that the application of forensic audit to tackle financial fraud in Nigerian (DMBs) is still at the infant stage. The study recommended that organisations should have a strong internal control system in place to reduce the occurrence of fraud.
Corporate organisations like banks are essentially social-technical devices made up of people and physical actors who process inputs and at the same time execute some functions and / or tasks that lead to the accomplishment of certain goals and these stakeholders who are probably within and / or outside the organisations may for various reasons have engaged in fraudulent financial activities (Akenbor and Oghoghomeh, 2013). The Nigerian banking sector is one of the most controlled and regulated sectors. In spite of this, fraud has continued to rear its ugly head in the sector. Fraudulent financial activities are illicit activities committed with the purpose of acquiring riches either individually, in group or organised manner thereby violating existing legislation or accounting policies governing the economic activities and administration of the organisation (Yio and Cheng, 2004).
Globally, the occurrence of fraud in corporate organisations is becoming rampant and this can be shown in the large number of reported cases of bribery, corruption, embezzlement, money laundering, racketeering, fraudulent financial reporting, tax evasion, forgery and other means through which both financial and economic dishonesty are being perpetrated (Ofiafoh and Otalor, 2013). The accounting profession had already undergone radical changes as a result of the
Enron and WorldCom debacles as well as other accounting scandals (Cotton, 2000). Hence, with the spotlight on the accounting profession, a new market with a new breed of accountants (forensic accountants) has emerged. Today, the occurrence of fraud and other financial crimes have gone sophisticated and even the advent of computerisation together with the introduction of internet facilities have enhanced the problem of financial crimes. The detection and / or reduction of these fraudulent activities are made more difficult and committing these crimes much easier. Hence, Onodi, Okafor and Onyali (2015) are of the opinion that forensic investigative skills are required to uncover and establish the occurrence of financial crimes.
The Centre for Forensic Studies (2010) states that if well applied, forensic auditing could be utilised to reverse the leakages that cause corporate failures. This can be attributed to the fact that proactive forensic auditing practice seeks out errors, operational vagaries and deviant transactions before they crystallise into fraud. This study focused on both management and employees frauds. The management fraud include fraudulent disbursements, window dressing, creative accounting and soon while employees fraud include asset / cash theft, teeming and lading (roll over fraud) and soon. The problem of fraud in banking industry is not limited to any economy, nation, continent or an environment; it is a general phenomenon. The origin of bank failure in Nigeria can be traced to the 1930s bank failure and crises (Owolabi, 2010). Nwankwo (1992) writes that “the crises of confidence in Nigerian banking industry is not a new one, it has been with us for quite a long time. In Nigeria now, the level of fraud in Deposit Money Banks has reached an alarming peak. The Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) annual report for the year 2014 revealed that the increase in expected/actual loss in fraud and forgeries was mainly due to the astronomical increase in the occurrence of web-based (online banking)/ATM and fraudulent transfer/withdrawal of deposit frauds.
The incidence of fraud and misappropriation of funds in recent time pose a threat to traditional auditing as a branch of accounting profession because of its perennial nature and this has resulted
to the question as to whether the statutory auditing actually play a significant role towards the attainment of accountability and prevention of fraud especially that which was recently witnessed in our commercial banks. Statutory audit appears to have shown a lack of concern and reflective attitude towards fraud fighting, thereby failing to offer the public desirable assurance to handle corruption and fraud (Akhidime and Ugbale-Ekatah, 2014) cited in (Okolie and Taiwo, 2014). The gap identified by this present study is the failure of traditional auditing to combat the occurrence of fraud and other financial crimes in the Nigerian banking industry. Hence, this study examined the effect of forensic auditing on financial fraud in Nigerian Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) using logistic regression analysis and with particular focus on DMBs, audit firms and the Abeokuta zonal branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) all in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria.