Commemorating the past, celebrating the future

Friday, May 12, 2017 - 9:29am
Sarah Jane Silva

DIFA Reunion

DIFA's alumni reunion and awards night highlights the collaborative trajectory of its
Master of Forensic Accounting program

On May 1st, alumni from the University of Toronto Mississauga’s Diploma in Investigative & Forensic Accounting (DIFA) program convened at the Ontario Bar Association’s Conference Centre in Toronto for the inaugural reunion dinner and awards night. The event, labelled Forensic Accounting Transitions, which brought together more than 40 alumni and administrative staff and guests, also launched the new version of the program, the Master of Forensic Accounting (MFAcc).

“It was an evening that we looked back on DIFA and forward to the new MFAcc. We celebrated the forensic accounting leaders of that profession, who had made significant contributions to the practice, the educational process and to the development of the area including those that had contributed to the DIFA program,” said Len Brooks, the Institute for Management & Innovation’s director of the MFAcc.

When the final DIFA class graduates, DIFA will have accumulated 300 alumni since the program began in 2001. “These people have assumed, and will assume leadership positions in forensic accounting, not only in Canada but around the world.”

MFAcc Launch (for further information see mfacc.utoronto.ca)

The launch of the new MFAcc Program, with the first of its 10 half courses starting in September 2017, was a focus of the evening. In addition, the status of an advance-standing upgrade process for DIFA alumni was also discussed in which the University is considering a proposal for once-per-week, distance-education courses to start in January 2018, leading to a one-week, in-residence capstone session in August.  These upgrade courses will include new elements required to earn the AICPA’s Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) designation, and to master recent changes in the forensic accounting practice environment in the 10 MFAcc half courses, such as:

  • Increased fraud, fraud risk assessment & cybercrime material
  • Data analytics & security
  • International aspects of fraud, & money laundering
  • U.S. legal overview
  • Business valuation
  • Asset tracing & recovery
  • Psychology of white collar criminals
  • Bankruptcy & insolvency
  • Research findings

“The DIFA program has always been the most comprehensive educational experience available for forensic accounting,” said Professor Brooks. “The new MFAcc program is going to be a modernized version of that.”

DIFA Forensic Accounting Awards

The awards and their recipients are as follows:

Distinguished Contribution to Forensic Accounting Practice

  • Lindquist Avey Macdonald Baskerville, Inc.
    LAMB was a pioneering firm, that spawned many of the prominent forensic accountants that went on to leadership roles in the profession. All four partners have all made significant individual contributions to forensic accounting practice.

Distinguished Contribution to the Development of Forensic Accounting

  • Peter Dent
    Americas Leader, Deloitte Forensic at Deloitte & Touche, LLP, Canada, Chair & President, Transparency International-Canada from 2013, frequent author, CFF AICPA Committee member for Canada.

Distinguished Contribution to Forensic Accounting Education

  • Victor Neufeld
    Forensic accounting practitioner, consultant to the IFA Standards Committee which developed the Standard Practices for Investigative and Forensic Accounting Engagements (2006), Chair of the IFA Education Committee which developed the Investigative and Forensic Accounting Competency Map (2010), extensive contributor to the DIFA and MFAcc programs since their inception, and a founding DIFA instructor.

Distinguished Contribution as a Forensic Account Instructor

  • Nick Hodson, Gary Moulton, Derek Rostant
    Senior forensic accounting practitioners, who have been the principal instructors in the DIFA Capstone, which has perennially been the most highly rated DIFA course.

Forensic Accounting Lifetime Achievement Award

  • William Dovey
    Senior forensic accounting practitioner, first Chair of the CICA’s Alliance for Excellence in Forensic Accounting, and founding instructor in the DIFA Program.

50th Anniversary Celebrations for UTM

The DIFA alumni celebrations, and launch of the new MFAcc program, represent the best of what the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) has contributed over the first 50 years of its existence.  Both DIFA and MFAcc programs are proudly part of UTM’s institute for Management & Innovation (IMI).

* Photos by Ryan Cerrudo for the Institute for Management & Innovation