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Basics of forensic accounting

via tribuneindia: Pervin Malhotra

Q.I am currently pursuing MCom while working in a bank. Can you please tell me something about forensic accounting and the scope for employment? —Parikshit Chaubey

A.Forensic Accountants combine their knowledge of accounting and investigative skills, and harness this unique combination in the areas of litigation support and investigative accounting.

So where do forensic accountants work? Well anywhere investigative accounting is needed — from private firms that help specific companies deal with suspected (or known) fraud and embezzlement to government organisations like police departments, the CBI, law enforcement agencies, etc.
Forensic accountants also frequently work in the forensic accounting divisions of public accounting firms specialising in risk consulting and forensic accounting services, banks, financial institutions, the IRS and other government organisations, insurance companies and law firms.

Thanks to the heightened awareness and growing intolerance of fraudulent activity, demand for forensic accountants is rapidly increasing.

However, to leverage your experience of working in the banking sector, you might look at becoming a Certified Bank Forensic Accountant.

For this you’ll need to acquire training in the financial institutions and banking frauds domain, forensic auditing related to banking sector, litigation support and investigative accounting.

The CBFA course which focuses on Fraud Prevention, detection and Investigations in the banking sector in India, is offered by the Indiaforensic Center of Studies and moderated by the Forensic Accounting Research Foundation (FARF) which operates in India apart from Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, UAE, Uganda etc.

You can choose from the following certifications:

  • Certified Anti-Money Laundering Expert
  • Certified Bank Forensic Accounting
  • Certified Forensic Accounting Professional

Scope in homeopathy
Q.Could you please tell me about the prospects in homeopathy? I would love to specialise in this field but my family is not convinced. —Sarmishta Dubey

A.From being considered a non-scientific last resort for medical stream students, homeopathy has now emerged as a preferred, system of medicine in India as well as in more than 80 other countries. An indication of its popularity lies in the fact that the best homeopathic medicines are manufactured by German and American companies (where it’s a multimillion-dollar industry recognized and regulated by the FDA).

With the spiraling cost of allopathic treatment, a large number of people are beginning to prefer homeopathy, both for chronic as well as common ailments.

Homeopathy offers virtually the same opportunities as the other systems of medicine. Homeopaths practice in most parts of the world.

Of the approximately 1.5 lakh qualified homeopaths in the country, many work in government hospitals and dispensaries; recruitment for which is conducted by the UPSC and the respective State Public Service Commissions.

The Central government has adopted the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) system for an integrated approach to achieve health for all by 2020.

Among the Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM), homeopathy is a major stakeholder in CAM, followed by ayurveda.

Low cost of treatment, easy palatability and minimal side effects have contributed to its popularity. Education costs are also considerably lower.

Besides independent practice, many homeopaths work as medical officers in the central and state government (ESI & CGHI clinics etc). The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) has maximized the opportunities for homeopathy graduates to serve as medical officers.

An MD in Homeopathy qualifies you for a teaching position.

The number of sub-specialties has multiplied (apart from the complimentary & supplementary). If you’re research-oriented, there are endless possibilities to consider. You can work as a Junior/Senior Research Fellow or Asst Research Officer, Research Officer or Scientist in research councils and homeopathy colleges.

Besides private nursing homes and polyclinics, Medical colleges, training institutions and medical councils recruit doctors as teaching faculty and researchers.

There are opportunities in government bodies, many homeopaths opt for private practice. Veterinary homeopathic medicine is yet another option to consider.

Only recently, the Rajya Sabha passed the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill to replace the Central Council of Homoeopathy with a board of governors to bring accountability and quality in homeopathy education.

What is the work profile of credit analysts?
Q. What exactly do credit analysts do, and where do they work? I’m currently preparing for the CAT but also looking for options in finance.—Kabir Sehgal

A. Credit analysts rate the credit worthiness of a company. They’re hired by banks and financial services providers. They manage the relationship between front line managers servicing the public to ensure that they receive quality service and quick response to requests for credit.

Credit analysts also undertake risk assessment analysis of various types of lending proposals.

They make a decision based on a number of factors such as the purpose of the loan, viability, track record, credit-worthiness of the customer and the collateral provided. They provide quality service to internal customers by developing and improving the quality of credit submissions, financial analysis, advising and recommending changes to policy and procedures and offering a consultancy service on credit issues and quality.

A credit analyst needs to have strong quantitative skills with a sound background in finance.

Do check out the prestigious tow-year CRISIL Certified Analyst Programme (CCAP) which is offered by ICRA Ltd.

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