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MENA faces ‘fraud and financial manipulation’ risk

05Fraud and financial manipulation pose great risks for companies in MENA, and accounting and financial management need to sharpen their skills to help avoid this, says a new study.

One in five employees of American firms operating in Europe, theMiddle East, India and Africa have become aware of financial manipulations in their companies in the past 12 months, according to Ernst & Young’s Fraud Survey for 2013.

Alarmingly, it says, at board and senior manager level the proportion is said to be higher still – the survey reported that more than 40 per cent of respondents said that sales or costs had been manipulated at their company.

“Although the survey covered American companies operating in the region, this should be a concern for the business community in this part of the world,” said Jim Gurowka, vice-president of international development at the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), one of the largest and most respected global associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession.

“The possibility of inaccurate financial reporting and sales manipulation could have far reaching impacts on the business community at large, which is why we cannot overemphasise enough the importance of having trained and certified accounting and financial management professionals who can help spot and safeguard businesses from these fraudulent activities,” he added.

According to Gurowka, certification is not just a means to enhance a professional accountant’s skills and credentials. It helps instil a commitment to an ethical practice of the profession as well as serving as an instrument to push compliance even further towards strict financial reporting protocols in their respective organisations.

IMA has been providing training and certification programmes for accounting and finance professionals in the region. Currently, it is making its membership and certification programmes more accessible, offering services at a discounted rate until June 16, 2013.

“CMA certification demonstrates a professional’s mastery of accounting and financial management, and connects them to a global network of members, as well as access to thought leadership and research through which they can further enhance their skills and credentials,” maintained Gurowka.

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