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Institute laments shortage of forensic skills

Mpeshe Selebalo

MASERU — The chief executive of the Lesotho Institute of Accountants (LIA) says there is a serious shortage of professionals with fraud and forensic investigation skills in Lesotho.

Moahloli Mphaka said the dire shortage of accountants was forcing most companies in Lesotho to import such skills from outside the country.

“It is very expensive for companies to import such skills to carry out investigations and in some cases some of the companies cannot afford to pay for such skills,” he told the Sunday Express on Thursday.

He said the need to import people with proper accounting skills sometimes results in companies failing to identify fraudulent activities in time, affecting Lesotho’s economic growth.

“This is a very rare skill. We are in the process of developing and improving such skills among our accountants,” Mphaka said.

Mphaka said the LIA will hold a three-day workshop in October to address this challenge affecting the accounting sector.

He said some businesses had collapsed due to fraudulent activities which could not be traced because of a lack of requisite forensic skills by accountants.

Mphaka said the seminar will look at how businesses can improve their capacity to curb corruption and prevent fraud in the workplace.

He said they will invite individuals in influential positions within business to attend the seminar.

Mphaka said the objective of the seminar will be to build the capacity of business people to avoid or identify fraudulent activities within their organisations.

He said they will be targeting managers and senior professionals from both the private sector and the public sector to attend the seminar for them to run their businesses effectively.

“Fraud and forensic investigations is something important in the modern life of any organisation,” Mphaka said.

“Fraudulent practices have created negative repercussions for many economies globally.”

He said economic growth was negatively affected in cases where funds were not properly utilised.

“Fraud causes problems in the economy of any country and we are no exception as a nation,” Mphaka said.

“We need to have people who can identify and advise businesses on how to avoid misplacements of funds.”

Mphaka said he was happy with the steps taken by the government of Lesotho to deal with corruption and fraud when it passed the Anti-money Laundering Act 2010.

“The Anti-money Laundering Act has gone as far as to compel auditors or any individual to report any act or query of corruption,” he said.

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