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This paper examines the impact of fraud specific problem representation (FSPR) on the relationship with Accountants’ Skills Requirement (SR) and Fraud risk assessment (FRA) in the Nigerian public sector. The research methodology is quantitative with cross-sectional design and survey. The respondents are accountants (i.e. auditors and forensic accountants) in the public sector accounting and auditing institutions. The study addresses the gap in the literature by highlighting the significant influence of FSPR on SR and FRA regarding fraud detection, prevention and response. The findings from a second generation statistical analysis tool of the Partial Least Square-Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) confirm the direct relationship of accountants’ skills on fraud risk assessment. Also, a direct relationship of accountants’ skills on fraud specific problem representation, and fraud specific problem representation on fraud risk assessment and the indirect relationship of fraud specific problem representation on skills and fraud risk assessment. This study may help to enhance the regulatory, ethical, institutional and legal framework in Nigeria especially and the developing nations in general. Furthermore, it will accord support for the government transformation programme on efficient and effective public sector and capacity building of the workforce.

Keywords: Skills requirement, fraud specific problem representation, fraud risk assessment, task performance, forensic accounting, auditing, mediation analysis, developing countries

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