This is a specialist area of accountancy, where accounting skills are deployed in the investigation of fraud or embezzlement, and financial information is analysed for use in legal proceedings.
A Forensic Accountant role entails the application of analysing, interpreting, summarising and presenting complex financial and business related issues in a manner that clearly identifies and clarifies what has transpired within a set of business transactions and financial reports. Findings are presented in an understandable format and are supported properly with documented evidence.
Forensic Accountants are either engaged in public practice or employed by insurance companies, banks, police forces, government agencies and other organisations.
A Forensic Accountant will often be involved in the following:
- Investigating and analysing financial evidence
- Developing computerised applications for analysing and presenting financial evidence
- Communicating their findings in the form of reports, exhibits and collections of supporting documents
- Assisting in legal proceedings, testifying as an expert witness in court and preparing visual aids to support trial evidence
To complete the required tasks properly, a Forensic Accountant must be familiar with legal concepts and procedures, and be able to identify the root cause of the problem and present relevant facts to support testimony in a court.