The services of a forensic accountant are used to assist companies uncover financial fraud as well as identify and evaluate fraud risks. They are skilled at uncovering crimes such as bribery, money laundering, forgery and insider trading. A fraud investigation could result in the company taking legal action. In this event, the investigative accountant would be able to offer credible litigation support.
Commercial Dispute Resolution
Forensic accountants assist companies resolve financial issues in disputes. Examples of commercial disputes include breach of contract,
negligence, loss of profits, due diligence, merger and acquisition disputes as well as lending and negligence disputes. They can act for the claimant, defendant or as an independent expert witness. Their value lies in their ability to identify key issues and act as an objective facilitator in the dispute resolution process. If the matter is settled out of court, all parties concerned save time and money.
The process of valuing a business accurately is a complex one. The accountant has the skills needed to conduct a detailed investigation of all areas of the businesses finances to uncover the true value. These include investigating the value of the assets, property, goodwill, profits, turnover as well as an analysis of the directors’ shareholdings. A business valuation is not only essential as part of the sale of the business. It could also be required when dealing with matters of bankruptcy, a shareholder dispute or as part of a criminal proceeding.
Dissolving a marriage financially can be a complex process, especially where one spouse has deliberately hidden assets. In such instances, the help of a forensic accountant can be invaluable. The forensic accountant reviews the financial information available to determine if it is accurate and reasonable. A thorough investigation is conducted to determine if there is any deferred income or hidden assets. One method is to compare expenditure versus reported income. If there is a business involved, the process can become even trickier. The forensic accountant can value the business accurately for purposes of fairly dissolving the party’s financial affairs.
As can be seen from the examples listed above, the services of these professionals extend beyond traditional accounting knowledge and experience. The forensic accountant combines knowledge of accounting with knowledge of effective investigative techniques and the litigation process to deliver a highly specialised service.