What is Forensic Accounting?
Forensic Accounting, subset of the accounting services offered by most CPA firms, requires specialized knowledge and training to address the complex issues of financial crime investigations. Forensic Accounting essentially is the combination of accounting knowledge with the criminal justice system.
What should I look for when considering the services of a Forensic Accountant?
There are many highly skilled and competent Forensic Accountants to consider. The practice of Forensic Accounting has grown and changed exponentially since the early days of significant corporate fraud matters, i.e., Enron, WorldCom, HealthSouth, and many others.
Generally speaking, it is always wise to consider a person’s training and experience in financial fraud investigations. You should always ask about the professional licensing and accreditation of a forensic accountant, the number and types of cases completed, examples of cases, and references. The resources available to the forensic accountant are also important. A large-scale case in a major company may require the resources of a large accounting company, while a smaller and localized case may be handled by a smaller accounting firm, or even a qualified individual.
When do you need a Forensic Accountant?
- Has your business been victimized by an embezzlement with a need assistance in reconstructing the financial transactions?
- Have you or a loved one, particularly senior citizens and vulnerable persons, been a victim of financial abuse and need assistance in reconstructing the financial transactions?
- Have you been falsely accused of a fraud scheme?
- Do you need assistance in identifying cyber crime and fraud risks for your business?
- Has your business received a subpoena from a government entity for records?
- Are you a law enforcement official or prosecutor and need assistance in reconstructing financial transactions?
If your answer to any of these questions is yes, you may want to consider using the services of a qualified Forensic Accountant to assist you in reconstructing the financial records, conducting appropriate interviews, and recommendations to mitigate future fraud risks.