SOAS University of London

School of Finance and Management

Forensic Accounting

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 3
Taught in:
Term 2

This module will provide an introduction to the concepts of forensic accounting as a theoretical process, and how it integrates into the legal system. The lectures will provide detailed synopsis as to how accountants, through forensic accounting, play a key role within legal work. The module will be taught in three parts: Legal Aspects of Forensic Accounting, Financial Statements Fraud and Cybercrime. It will comprise one-hour lecture per week with an accompanying one-hour tutorial every week. The tutorials will build upon the theoretical study of the lectures and provide practical examples to work through and discuss in smaller group format or provide opportunity for testing the learning of important concepts. 

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • To evaluate the role and appraise the processes of the forensic accountant acting in support of litigation as an expert witness or primary investigator
  • To appraise and apply the theories and practices of valuation in support of litigation within a series of given situations
  • To critically evaluate the practices of fraud investigation and detection within a series of given common fraudulent scenarios
  • To review and evaluate the development of cyber crime and critically examine mechanisms to detect and discourage such activities
  • Demonstrate effective use of information technology for research and presentation purposes and make appropriate use of learning resources
  • To demonstrate the ethical position and duties of an accountant acting as an investigator of criminal activities
  • Critically evaluate the nature and possible reasons for fraud, defalcation and misrepresentation in both paper and electronic forms 
  • Appraise and critically review different methods of detecting, preventing and controlling frauds, defalcation and misrepresentation
  • Develop investigative skills to collect, analyse, and evaluate evidential matter and to interpret and communicate findings
  • Use both quantitative and qualitative techniques in order to analyse and evaluate issues relating to financial valuation in areas such as purchases of business, valuation of divorce assets, valuation of damages to business properties and calculation of lost profits 
  • Critically evaluate the provisions of common law, civil laws and criminal laws on different kinds of financial crimes
  • Competences and skills necessary in court cases relating to disputes and litigations


  • Two hours of lectures per week for 11 weeks
  • One hour of seminars per week for 10 weeks
  • Four hours of other contact per week for 11 weeks

In addition to the total of 76 taught hours students will be expected to undertake 74 hours of independent study to make a total of 150 hours. 

Scope and syllabus

  1. Introduction & opportunities in Forensic Accounting
  2. Corporate Culture & Motivation for Fraud
  3. Assets misappropriation & occupational fraud
  4. Financial Statement Fraud I – Motivation and types
  5. Financial Statement Fraud II – Reg flags and real life examples
  6. Deterrence, Detection & Prevention of Fraud
  7. Cybercrime Introduction`
  8. Online fraud & virtual crimes
  9. Electronic Crime Scene Investigation
  10. Digital Evidence
  11. Data Mining
  12. Legal aspect of fraud introduction
  13. Money laundering (Proceed of Crime Act)
  14. Negligence & Prof. Negligence
  15. Financial abuse, Court System and Financial Crime
  16. Charity and Housing fraud
  17. Divorce/ Investment Principles
  18. Court Reports

Method of assessment

  • One 1 hour written exam paper (70%)
  • Two 45 minute multiple choice tests (under exam conditions) with questions tailored after the Association of certified fraud examiners professional exams for a total of 30%

Suggested reading

Core Reading
  • Taylor J (2011) Forensic Accounting (1st Edition), FT Prentice Hall, ISBN 9780273722960
Additional Reading
  • Bee-Lean, C (2017) Forensic Accounting and Finance. KoganPage. ISBN 9780749479992
  • Clough, J (2010) Principles of Cybercrime, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521728126
  • Wells J T (2004) Principles of Fraud Examination, John Wiley and Sons Inc., ISBN 0471517089
  • Kranacher, M; Riley, R; & Wells, J T (2011) Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination (1st Edition) John Wiley and Sons Inc
  • Hopwood W S (2008) Forensic Accounting (International Edition), McGraw-Hill, ISBN 9780071101158
  • Friedman J P (2003) Litigation Support Report Writing: Accounting, Finance, and Economic Issues, John Wiley and Sons Inc., ISBN 0471262900
  • Silverstone (2004) Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation for Non-Experts. John Wiley and Sons Inc., ISBN 0471463248 


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules