Forensic Accounting ServicesOne of the newer areas, and also the fastest growing area of accounting is forensic accounting. A forensic accountant has a unique job because the responsibilities involve the integration of accounting, auditing, and investigative skills.
Forensic accountants become involved in an array of investigations. This may involve:
A forensic accountant may be hired by a variety of institutions, including attorneys and law firms; police forces; insurance companies; government agencies; banks, credit unions, and financial lenders; courts; and business owners. They may hire a forensic accountant to investigate, analyze, interpret, summarize, and present complex financial and business information so that it can be easily understood and properly supported. The hiring would be based on their experience and qualifications, as well as their neutrality to their particular situation, especially if damages are involved.
A forensic accountant can assist corporations in two main ways:
1. Investigative Accounting
By performing investigative accounting duties, a forensic accountant reviews the factual situation of the company and suggests possible courses of action. A forensic accountant can assist with the protection and/or recovery of assets, and can coordinate with other experts such as private investigators, forensic document examiners, and consulting engineers in the event that a white-collar crime has occurred.
2. Litigation Support
A forensic accountant can assist in obtaining documentation to form an initial assessment of the case and identify areas of loss. This may require the forensic accountant to assist with settlement discussions and negotiations, as well as attend a trial to hear the testimony of the opposing expert, and to provide assistance with cross-examination.
While each forensic accountant will receive a unique assignment with each client, most assignments will include the following steps: