LIA mulls forensics course

MASERU – The Lesotho Institute of Accountants (LIA) says it will soon introduce a programme to train and equip local accountants with forensic skills.

LIA’s chief executive Moahloli Mphaka told the Lesotho Times on Monday that the training will equip accountants to detect fraud and corruption at the workplace.

LIA is a regulating and training institute for the accounting profession.

It also monitors practising accountants to ensure they are complying with local laws.

“We cannot afford as a country to import skills every time we need to investigate fraudulent activities in business and other organisations.

“We need to train our own experts as a country,” Mphaka said.

He said it was always expensive to import skills adding that costs would be reduced significantly if there was a pool of local experts with skills to detect fraud and corrupt activities within business.

“Fraud and forensics are not studied in the country so we need to introduce such training to those already in practice and those still in academic training,” Mphaka said.

The training is set to begin sometime next year.

He said fraud affects the economic development of a country and it was the responsibility of the accountants and auditors to report to authorities whenever they suspected any irregularities.

“Lesotho has the capacity as far as the normal accounting and audit exposure is concerned.

“However skills on fraud detection are in short supply so we have to import such skills which are expensive,” Mphaka said.

He said the institute was currently working closely with other organisations involved in monitoring corruption such as the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences to clamp down on corrupt activities. They are also working in close relation with other institutions such as the Lesotho Revenue Authority.

Mphaka said the new training on forensic accounting will help to detect money laundering activities.

“We are in the process of developing curriculums for training on fraud and corruption, tax planning and public sector accounting,” he said.

“People end up being demoralised if we always have to import certain skills. The answer will be to train people to acquire those skills which are lacking in the country.”

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