Forensic accounting examines someone's or a company's financial status using investigative, accounting, auditing, and other skills. Forensic accountants are CPAs that search for criminal activities supporting documentation and frequently work for insurance firms, banks, and law enforcement organizations.
Expert witnesses in court cases frequently call forensic accountants as they study financial documents and accounts that could be used as evidence. They might work on instances involving embezzlement and fraud and describe the characteristics of a financial crime in court.
The term "forensic evidence," which simply refers to evidence that can be produced in a court of law, may have come up previously. Therefore, the phrase "forensic accounting" refers to an examination of financial data that can be utilized to strengthen a claim in court.
It can take months or even years to sift through all of a company's or person's financial records, and doing so requires a team of specialized accountants who function as detectives trying to solve a riddle.
Usually, a customer who wants to defend themselves or who wants to bring legal action against someone will hire an accounting firm. The majority of medium-sized to large-sized businesses have a forensic accounting department, which may include different forensic auditors.
Forensic accountants examine, analyze, and summarize extensive financial data. They gather financial proof, create computer programmes to manage the information gathered, and offer their conclusions in reports or presentations.
Tracing finances, identifying assets, recovering assets, and conducting due diligence reviews are among the duties of the accountant. Forensic accountants may pursue training in alternative dispute resolution due to their substantial involvement in legal problems and familiarity with the judicial system (ADR).
Forensic auditing can take many different forms, and these forms are often categorized according to the categories of judicial processes they relate to.
Here are a few of the most typical examples:
- Securities fraud
- Defaulting on debt
- Economic Losses (Various Lawsuits for Recovery of Losses)
- M&A related lawsuits
- Tax evasion or fraud
- Corporate valuation disputes
- Professional negligence claims
- Money laundering
- Privacy information
- Divorce proceedings
- Investigative and accounting methods are used in forensic accounting, which is used to identify financial crimes.
- Courts are given information about a financial crime by forensic accountants.
- Forensic accountants track for money, locate assets, carry out asset recovery, and undertake diligence checks.
- The insurance sector uses forensic accounting to quantify claim-related damages.