- Chartered Accountants ANZ offer specialisation in Forensic Accounting.
- The FA Specialisation shows potential clients, employers and lawyers which CA members have skills in forensic accounting.
- Owain Stone is past Chair of the CA ANZ Forensic Accounting Committee.
By Felicity McLean.
Here Owain Stone explains why he chose to undertake a Forensic Accounting Specialisation to codify his 30-plus years of forensic accounting experience and what he hopes to gain from the program.
Owain, when you undertook the CA ANZ FA Specialisation, which pathway did you choose?
I was looking to use the portfolio-based route as I think this is best suited for someone of my experience and the easiest to fit into my ongoing professional workload.
What did you hope to gain from the program?
At a personal level, I hoped to gain a codification of my experience and learning, which makes it easier for those I am dealing with to know that I have met minimum educational requirements in this specialisation.
What benefit does FA Specialisation offer members?
For individual members, it allows them to use an additional educational pathway to build on their existing CA qualification. The CA qualification is known for its breadth, but inevitably many CAs (particularly those in private practice) start to specialise over time. The FA Specialisation will bring recognition of minimum educational levels and levels of work experience, as well as telling others (whether peers, potential clients or courts) that the individual has personally invested their time and intellect in this specialisation.
For employers, (the forensic accounting specialisation) allows us to look for candidates who demonstrate a desire to specialise and invest in their own development.
What benefit does the program offer the profession more broadly?
There are several benefits I feel the specialisation brings. For members, it brings an extra educational pathway, particularly for those at earlier stages of their careers. It allows them to show potential clients and employers they have gained minimum educational requirements which demonstrate their interest in this specialisation. It also demonstrates they have met minimum experience requirements in this area.
For employers, it allows us to look for candidates who demonstrate a desire to specialise and invest in their own development.
For users of forensic accountants including lawyers, their clients and the courts, it helps to identify those individuals who have not only specialised in a particular area, but have taken the time to ensure they have minimum educational levels in this specialisation.
As with any education-based accreditation, it doesn’t necessarily mean the individual is better at performing the underlying forensic accounting work than their peers without the accreditation – the specialisation doesn’t, for instance, test their ability to deal with cross-examination or effectively trace missing funds. However, it does identify those who have chosen to specialise in this area.
It is a concrete demonstration of the ongoing leadership of CA ANZ in raising the profile and standards of education of CAs to benefit the profession and the wider community.