Forensic Accounting involves the understanding of business information and financial reporting systems, along with accounting and auditing standards and procedures, and also gathering of evidence and investigative techniques in litigation processes. It involves looking beyond the numbers and grasping the substance of situations.
A Forensic Accountant is someone who interrogates and examines financial evidence, develops computer applications that help in analysis and presentation of the evidences, puts forward all their findings in the form of reports, exhibits, and documents and finally takes part in lawsuits or litigations as an expert witness and testifies in the court all the evidences acquired via documents or visual aids. He is characterized by a variety of aspects like curiosity, persistence, creativity, discretion, organization, confidence and sound and professional judgment. These days’ a forensic accountant plays a more proactive risk reduction role by designing and undertaking extended maneuvers as apart of the statutory audit. They also act as advisors to audit committees, fraud deterrence engagements and assist in investment analyst research.
There are no limitations on the types of assignments entrusted upon a forensic accountant. A forensic accountant undertakes all kind of investigations involving financial aspects. Criminal Investigation is one of the prominent case types handled by a forensic accountant. Forensic accountants on the behalf of the police forces usually undertake investigations of a criminal nature. A report is prepared in accordance to the investigation and care is taken that the evidence is presented in a professional manner.
Another case type is shareholders and partnership disputes. Most successful small and medium-sized businesses are established on a strong relationship between two or more partners or shareholders. However, problems leading to dispute in this relationship can lead to devastating consequences and it is not sensible to for those involved in the dispute to solve it all by them selves. So, here the forensic accountant plays a major role in elaborately analyzing various years of accounting records to quantify the issues in the dispute. The most common dispute often arises related to the compensation or benefits owed to each of the disputing shareholders or partners.
Forensic accountants also handle personal injury claims. Calibrating the economic losses caused by a motor vehicle accident is one of the roles of the forensic accountant. He needs to be acquainted with the laws and legislations pertaining motor vehicle accidents. This assignment may also include cases of medical malpractice or wrongful dismissal.
Insurance claims also often undergo investigating by an expert. Insurance policies differ in its terms and conditions depending on the type of insurance therein. These involve an itemized review of the policy to investigate coverage issues and correct ways of calculating the loss. A forensic accountant may both represent the insured, or the insurer, and settle the case accordingly.
Another case is employee fraud investigations. Here the forensic accountant examines the existence, nature and extent of fraud and may involve the identification of the wrongdoer. It involves interview of the personnel who had access to funds.
Lastly, forensic accountants handle business economic classes. This assignment includes contract disputes, construction claims, expropriations, product liability claims, patent and trademark infringements and losses arising from a breach of a non-competition agreement.
Terry Mickelson works with M. Martin Mercer, offering combined experience in virtually every area of finance, including forensic accountant services. For more information about M. Martin Mercer visit http://www.b2bcfo.com/forensic_accounting/expert_witness.html or call (303)621.5825.
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