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Despite the Nigerian government efforts at reducing the incidence of fraud and corruption through measures, such as establishing and strengthening organs of accountability and promoting the global best corporate practices, fraud and financial crimes in the public sector continue to be on the increase. This paper examines the capability and competence requirements – Knowledge (KR), Skills (SR) and Task performance fraud risk assessment (TPFRA) of a forensic accountant and auditor in the Nigerian public sector. Also, this study determines whether the forensic accountant has higher levels of SR, KR and TPFRA requirements than the auditor in an emergent area of fraud prevention, detection and response. The study employed cross-sectional design and a survey method. Of the 550 questionnaires distributed, 422 questionnaires were returned and out of which 328 questionnaires retained for analysis. The variables are considered a between-subject factor and measured at two levels with a total of 29 observable items (including demography information). The study used PLS-SEM (SmartPLS 2.0 M3) and IBM SPSS ver. 20.0 as the primary statistical analysis tools. The results of the study confirm the significant positive relationship of SR on TPFRA and KR on TPFRA. Also, the findings revealed that the forensic accountant has significant higher levels of KR, SR and TPFRA than auditor in respect of fraud prevention, detection and response. The implication of this study might result in the overall reduction of fraud and fraudulent acts, promote institutional, regulatory and legal framework, and create awareness amongst the accounting and auditing institutions in the Nigerian public sector.

Keywords: forensic accounting, auditing, skills, knowledge, fraud risk assessment, public sector, Nigeria

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