• Salwa Zolkaflil Accounting Research Institute (ARI), UiTM Shah Alam, Malaysia.
  • Sharifah Nazatul Faiza Syed Mustapha Nazri Accounting Research Institute (ARI), UiTM Shah Alam, Malaysia.
  • Fazlida Mohd Razali Accounting Research Institute (ARI), UiTM Shah Alam, Malaysia.
  • Masetah Ahmad Tarmizi Faculty of Accountancy, UiTM Perak, Malaysia.
  • Mofijul Hoq Masum School of Business & Economics, United International University, Bangladesh.


Background and Purpose: The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked global challenges, economic disruption, and an increase in related crimes, such as scams, fraud, and cybercrime. It has also changed the routines of individuals, businesses, and governments in combating financial crimes, especially professional accountants. As front-liners in the anti-money laundering (AML) regime, professional accountants play a vital role in combating financial crime, including money laundering activities that have risen during the pandemic. However, limited study has investigated the money laundering reporting framework for the professional accountants. Hence, this study aims to investigate the money laundering framework for professional accountants that suits the post-pandemic period.


Methodology: This study conducted a content analysis, focussing on the current red flags for money laundering activities specifically for the professional accountants mentioned in prior literature and publicly available reports such as Financial Action Task Force (FATF), ICAEW and ACCA Global. Since this study focuses on the money laundering framework for the professional accountants, this study also referred to the MIA Competency Framework that highlights the importance of professional scepticism and professional judgement.


Findings: Findings showed that professional accountants must exercise high professional scepticism and judgement when dealing with money laundering risk indicators related to related party transactions, beneficial ownership and e-commerce activities. This is to provide quality reporting to the authorities and to proceed with money laundering investigations.


Contributions: This study will contribute to the regulators and professional accountant by proposing a money laundering framework for the professional accountants that would assist them in fulfilling their role as money laundering reporting entity.


Keywords: Money laundering, professional accountants, professional scepticism, professional judgment, Covid-19 endemic.


Cite as: Zolkaflil, S., Syed Mustapha Nazri, S. N. F., Mohd Razali, F., Ahmad Tarmizi, M., & Masum, M. H. (2023). Money laundering framework for professional accountants: Post Covid-19. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 8(TI), 235-256.

Author Biography

Mofijul Hoq Masum, School of Business & Economics, United International University, Bangladesh.

School of Business & Economics, United International University, Bangladesh.


ACCA Global. (2015). The audit of related parties and the application of professional scepticism. ACCA Global.

Arnold, C. (2020). Summary of Covid-19 audit considerations. IFAC.

Buchanan, B. G., & Zabala, C. A. (2017). Money laundering and legal compliance in the U.S. financial services industry: The case of Standard Chartered Bank. In M. S. Aßländer & S. Hudson (Eds.), The handbook of business and corruption: Cross-
sectoral experiences (pp. 255-278). Emerald Publishing Limited.

Calderon, T. G., & Green, B. P. (1994). Signaling fraud by using analytical procedures. Ohio CPA Journal, 53(1), 27-38.

Ciołek, M. (2018). Search for knowledge and professional skepticism of accounting students – An experimental study. Prace Naukowe Uniwersytetu Ekonomicznego We Wrocławiu, 515(1), 243–256.

Deloitte. (2020). Learning and development. Deloitte.

Dohrer, B. (2020). Professional skepticism: A critical element of the COVID-era audit. Accounting Today.

El-Hilali, O. (2020). Voices cybercrime and punishment: How accountants can keep up. Accounting Today.

Erlina, Putri, D. R., Sopanah, A., & Muda, I. (2018). Determinants of job quality improvement for internal auditors of local government: Empirical evidence from Indonesia. International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology, 9(9), 556–568.

FATF. (2019). Guidance for a risk-based approach accounting profession. FATF.

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). (2020). The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) encourages financial institutions to communicate concerns related to the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to remain alert to related illicit financial activity. FinCEN.

Forsman, L., & Johnson, M. (1996). Dimensionality and validity of two scales measuring different aspects of self-esteem. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 37(1), 1–15.

Francis, J. R. (2011). A framework for understanding and researching audit quality. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, 30(2), 125-152.

Gabryela, S. (2017). The application of professional skepticism in fraud detection: A case study at BPKP representative of Central Java province. Asia Pacific Fraud Journal, 2(2), 175–184.

Gagné, E. D. (1985). The cognitive psychology of school learning. Little, Brown and Company.

Giles, K. M. (2019). How artificial intelligence and machine learning will change the future of financial auditing: an analysis of The University of Tennessee's accounting graduate curriculum. (Chancellor’s Honors Program Projects). University of
Tennessee, Knoxville.

Hurtt, R. K. (2010). Development of a scale to measure professional skepticism. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, 29(1), 149–171.

Hussin, S. S. A. H., & Iskandar, T. M. (2013). Exploratory factor analysis on Hurtt’s professional skepticism scale: A Malaysian perspective. Asian Journal of Accounting and Governance, 4(1), 11–19.

Hussin, S. S. A. H., & Iskandar, T. M. (2015). Re-validation of professional skepticism traits. Procedia Economics and Finance, 28(1), 68–75.

Hussin, S. S. A. H., Saleh, N. M., & Al-smady, A. A. (2019). Auditor demographic factors and dimensions of auditors’ skepticism in Jordan. Asian Journal of Accounting and Governance, 11(1), 39–48.

ICAEW. (2020). ICAEW code of ethics. ICAEW.

ICAEW. (2010). The audit of related parties in practice. ICAEW.

Idowu, A., & Obasan, K. A. (2012). Anti-money laundering policy and its effects on bank performance in Nigeria. Business Intelligence Journal, 1(July), 367-373.

Ifrani, I. (2019). Assessing money laundering in the digital era: The high potential of cyber laundering on the revolution of financial technology. In International Conference on Wetland and Multidisciplinary Research (ICWRES), November 11-12th,
Utsunomiya, Japan (pp. 5-13). Utsunomiya University.

Imeny, V. M., Norton, S. D., Moradi, M., & Salehi, M. (2021). The anti-money laundering expectations gap in Iran: Auditor and judiciary perspectives. Journal of Money Laundering Control, 24(4), 681-692.

Jabin, S. (2021). The impact of COVID-19 on the accounting profession in Bangladesh. Journal of Industrial Distribution & Business, 12(7), 7–14.

Johari, R. J., Mohd-Sanusi, Z., & Vincent, K. C. (2019). Effects of auditors' ethical orientation and self-interest independence threat on the mediating role of moral intensity and ethical decision-making process. International Journal of Auditing, 21(1),

Kurtz, P. (1992). The new skepticism: Inquiry and reliable knowledge. Prometheus Books.

KPMG. (2020). COVID-19: Potential impact on financial reporting. KPMG.

Lennox, C. S., & Wu, X. (2018). A review of the archival literature on audit partners. Accounting Horizons, 32(2), 1-35.

MIA. (2018). International standard on auditing 240: Overall objectives of the independent auditor and the conduct of an audit in accordance with international standards on auditing. Malaysian Institute of Accountants.

Mardijuwono, A. W., & Subianto, C. (2018). Independence, professionalism, professional skepticism: The relation toward the resulted audit quality. Asian Journal of Accounting Research, 3(1), 61–71.

Mareque, M., López-Corrales, F., & Pedrosa, A. (2017). Audit reporting for going concern in Spain during the global financial crisis. Economic Research Ekonomska Istraživanja, 30(1), 154-183.

Marks, J. (2020). Forensically speaking: Investigations with Jonathan Marks. SoundCloud.

Melnik, S. V. (2003). Accountants’ anti–money-laundering responsibilities. CPA Journal.

Messier, W. F., Simon, C. A., & Smith, J. L. (2013). Two decades of behavioural research on analytical procedures: What have we learned? Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, 32(1), 139-181.

Nelson, M. W. (2009). A model and literature review of professional skepticism in auditing. Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, 28(2), 1-34.

Ng, A. W., & Kwok, B. K. B. (2017). Emergence of Fintech and cybersecurity in a global financial centre: Strategic approach by a regulator. Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, 25(4), 422-434.

Noh, M., Park, H., & Cho, M. (2017). The effect of the dependence on the work of other auditors on error in analysts’ earnings forecasts. International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, 25(1), 110-136.

Nolder, C. J., & Kadous, K. (2018). Grounding the professional skepticism construct in mindset and attitude theory: A way forward. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 67(May), 1-14.

Norton, S. D. (2018). Suspicion of money laundering reporting obligations: Auditor compliance, or sceptical failure to engage? Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 50(1), 56–66.

Nugraha, A. S., & Suryandari, D. (2018). The effect of experience to the accuracy of giving opinion with audit expertise, professional skeptisism, audit judgment as mediators. Accounting Analysis Journal, 7(1), 61–69.

Onyeaka, H., Anumudu, C. K., Al-Sharify, Z. T., Egele-Godswill, E., & Mbaegbu, P. (2021). COVID-19 pandemic: A review of the global lockdown and its far-reaching effects. Science Progress, 104(2), 1–18.

Popkin, R. H., & Stroll, A. (2002). Skeptical philosophy for everyone. Prometheus Books.

PricewaterhouseCoopers. (2020). COVID-19: Responding to the business impacts of Coronavirus. PwC.

PricewaterhouseCoopers. (2016). Economic crime from the board to the ground: Why a disconnect is putting Malaysian companies at risk. PwC.

Ravenda, D., Valencia-Silva, M. M., Argiles-Bosch, J. M., & García-Blandón, J. (2019). Money laundering through the strategic management of accounting transactions. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 60(1), 65–85.

Rose, A. M., Rose, J. M., Suh, I., & Thibodeau, J. C. (2020). Analytical procedures: Are more good ideas always better for audit quality? Behavioral Research in Accounting, 32(1), 37-49.

Rose, A. M., Rose, J. M., Sanderson, K. A., & Thibodeau, J. C. (2017). When should audit firms introduce analyses of big data into the audit process? Journal of Information Systems, 31(3), 81-99.

Salehi, M., Imeny, V. M., & Baygi, A. K. (2020). The necessity of anti-money laundering standards for Iranian auditors. Journal of Money Laundering Control, 23(1), 187-207.

Shen, H., Fu, M., Pan, H., Yu, Z., & Chen, Y. (2020). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on firm performance. Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, 56(10), 2213–2230.

Su, J. M., Lee, S. C., Tsai, S. B., & Lu, T. L. (2016). A comprehensive survey of the relationship between self-efficacy and performance for the governmental auditors. SpringerPlus, 5(1), 508–521.

Trompeter, G., & Wright, A. (2010). The world has changed—Have analytical procedure practices? Contemporary Accounting Research, 27(2), 669-700.

Van der Veer, P. (2020). Gods on earth: The management of religious experience and identity in a North Indian pilgrimage centre. Routledge.

Vitvitskiy, S. S., Kurakin, O. N., Pokataev, P. S., Skriabin, O. M., & Sanakoiev, D. B. (2021). Peculiarities of cybercrime investigation in the banking sector of Ukraine: Review and analysis. Banks and Bank Systems, 16(1), 69-80.

Wronka, C. (2021). “Cyber-laundering”: The change of money laundering in the digital age. Journal of Money Laundering Control, 25(2), 330-344.

Xu, Y., Carson, E., Fargher, N., & Jiang, L. (2013). Responses by Australian auditors to the global financial crisis. Accounting & Finance, 53(1), 301-338.

Yustina, A. I., & Gonadi, S. A. (2019). The negative effect of time budget pressure to auditor independence and professional skepticism. Jurnal Akuntansi dan Keuangan, 21(1), 38–48.

Yatim, H. (2021, July 9). 1MDB and M’sian government sue KPMG partners for US$5.64 billion. The Edge Markets.
How to Cite
Zolkaflil, S., Syed Mustapha Nazri, S. N. F., Mohd Razali, F., Ahmad Tarmizi, M., & Masum, M. H. (2023). MONEY LAUNDERING FRAMEWORK FOR PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANTS: POST COVID-19. Journal of Nusantara Studies (JONUS), 8(3), 235-256.