Forensic Accounting & Fraud Prevention (FAFP)
On January 23rd, 2016 it was announced that the 48th batch of FAFP shall commence in the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat and my joy knew no bounds, because I am not ashamed to say that I had set my heart on achieving this certification at any cost – mind you, by the only means that I would allow myself – fair means, that is.
Training sessions were announced to be held at the Hotel Regenta, Ashram Road and were to go on till February 22nd, 2016. All this was okay, except for my apprehension that the last examination I had ever appeared for had been in March’2006 for the Diploma in Information Systems Audit (DISA) also conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). Ten years later, I was pitting myself against 32 other, most of them much younger and perhaps more technologically advanced and certainly more capable than myself – and as I discovered later, a couple of them or more were even CISA qualified. Let me tell you, friends, these are not odds that work out in your favor under any circumstances. My initial and greatest fear, and I have no qualms of sharing this with you, was that if I was unsuccessful in achieving this landmark (for me, personally) certification, how silly I would look. To complicate matters further, I discovered to my horror that I was one of the senior-most in this particular batch of aspirants!!
Up till the time that the examination on the ultimate day of the training was announced, the quality of the training being imparted at the training sessions and the incisive technical knowledge possessed by the faculties who had been appointed to train us were beyond the ultimate limits that one could ever set for these eminent faculties. Most of them were, frankly, brilliant in their explanations and the way they communicated with the participants, for me, was another dimension itself. Fortunately for me, I had no problems whatsoever in understanding their teachings and was enlightened in many ways you cannot even imagine. To say that these training sessions stimulated me, is an understatement.
Though, at this point, I will honestly admit that I was no stranger to this field, having worked for almost a year with a reputed Insurance Surveyor in the city of Ahmedabad, way back in 2002, post the Godhra Riots and the burning down of God knows how many industrial and commercial establishments, resulting in perhaps crores of rupees of losses across the length and breadth of Ahmedabad and the state of Gujarat.
Again, since January 2015, when I had been added to a WhatsApp group being run by a highly reputed CA from Mumbai and then came into contact with perhaps a hundred or more other CA’s who were at different stages of being highly experienced and also coming from different states of our country, which was another eye-opener for my humble self. Their interactions were only being read by me on the social media like WhatsApp, Facebook and on LinkedIn since the one year prior to my joining this certification course, but my understanding and comprehension about the importance of this field for all CA’s had been growing by leaps and bounds, perhaps my other participants were not even aware of these developments that I had been following quite ardently.
To say that I was delighted to see the paper given to us on the ultimate day of the training completion, is an understatement. So greatly relieved and overjoyed was I on completing the paper literally 15 minutes before the scheduled time of completion, which gave me some time to review the entire paper at least once completely. Of course, it was too early for me to say conclusively that I had passed the examination, but yes, I was reasonably certain that I would not be unsuccessful in clearing it.
After completing the submission of the required research paper, the connected presentation and the two dummy forensic reports to the institute, I was reasonably sure that I would clear this asssessment, because by then I was quite certain that my understanding of the training sessions was as much as any other candidate in those sessions.
On 6th April, 2016 the email announcing that I had successfully completed the requirements necessary for the award of the certification came, I was informed by my colleague and good friend about it, since I had been busy with work that evening.
In celebration of this event, I have even created a Facebook Page to commemorate it here.