Forensic accounting is a branch of accounting that combines investigative techniques with accounting analysis. This special branch of accounting is needed to uncover financial-related crimes.
Accountants who have extensive knowledge in the field of accounting are the ones who perform this task. They use their skills to methodically interpret complex financial data in order to expose any discrepancies.
With their wide knowledge and skills, forensic accountants are able to carry out a variety of roles. They can be hired to evaluate damages as a result of negligence, loss, and fraud. These professionals can also help in business valuations and settle family disputes, especially regarding financial matters. They also provide consultation and general advice.
In situations where financial-related evidence is required in court, the services of a forensic accountant will be useful and Investigators Australia offers these forensic accountant services.
We have a team of forensic accountants that have a wide range of experience in digital forensics, database searches, handwriting forensics, etc.
Our accountants work in accordance with the standard set by the Accounting Professional Standards Board (APESB).
What Do Forensic Accountants Do?
Forensic accounting basically refers to the process of applying accounting principles when it comes to gathering criminal evidence and during legal proceedings. Forensic accountants are also called to act as professional witnesses in court where they are required to give testimonies regarding their findings, during which they will play the role of an investigator, auditor, and accountant.
In some cases, forensic accountants will be required to assess financial reports and accounting systems to identify if the numbers are accurate and assist in requesting for claims on professional negligence.
This can help to determine if the people involved have acted in a legal and ethical manner. They may also be tasked to investigate the assumed and actual proceeds that result from fraudulent gains to reveal the total value involved in the criminal proceeds.
In addition, a forensic accountant can help to quantify and compute the total economic losses and damages either contract or tort and establish a business valuation. They can also investigate disagreements as a result of company buyouts or acquisitions or if there are breaches of warranty.
Our forensic accountants deal with two main areas and these are investigation and litigation support. In the investigation aspect, they will be asked to determine if criminal acts have taken place in a company, such as identity theft, security fraud, insurance fraud, employee theft, etc. They will also be asked to investigate any hidden assets involving civil matters, especially during divorce cases.
As for litigation support, the forensic accountant will be asked to explain the factual presentation of the economic issues in the case involved. They will be tasked to quantify the damages involved in a legal dispute to help resolve the case during mediation. The forensic accountant might also be required to testify as a witness in court.
Unlike a Certified Practising Accountant that will only be tasked to collect evidence of a paper trail, forensic accountants will be required to present it in front of the judge in a thorough manner that will be easily understood by everyone.
Forensic accountants are considered to be suspicious number detectives. They must be familiar with legal issues and should be able to apply their accounting knowledge to the court.
It’s also important for forensic accountants to have the knowledge and skills to cover a broad range of aspects in their investigation. There are instances when they will be asked to assist in a deposition, create reports, testify in court and help in civil and criminal investigations.
Corporate and Business Clients
During the course of the investigation, our skilled accountants may be able to discover evidence of illegal activities and reveal the identity of the person responsible.
Whether it’s a deliberate act or not, a skilled forensic accountant can establish the nature of the issue and ascertain the overall value of the loss incurred.
This is important in cases where quantifying the damages is necessary in order to seek a financial remedy. Examples are disciplinary proceedings against a company director, employee, or associate, as a result of the evidence that has been uncovered by the forensic investigator.
Our forensic accountants are experts at identifying loopholes in business practices and uncovering discrepancies in financial records. They will trace the flow of funds, analyse financial trends, and interview parties involved.
If required during proceedings, forensic accountants can also present evidence during a court hearing for legal settlement purposes. The pieces of evidence that the investigators have uncovered may ultimately lead to convictions of a criminal case.
Businesses that deal with valuation disputes can benefit from the services of Investigators Australia. We will be able to provide expert evidence concerning the value of the business. Such valuation is important during court settlements and in case the court requires an independent valuation of the business.
Whether the valuation is required for a suspected breach of contract, insurance claim, or other reasons, Investigators Australia will be able to present pieces of evidence for this matter.
Our valuation will only be completed after having a clear and thorough understanding of the business. Thus, all parties involved will be considered in our investigation.
Fraud and Corruption
Investigators Australia can help identify incidences of corruption and fraud. We believe that it’s best to mitigate the company’s vulnerability to fraud before it even arises.
We will help organisations implement internal controls and formulate risk prevention strategies that can minimise damage and loss.
Family Law Disputes
Our forensic accountants can help with family law disputes through the following:
- Determining the value of assets involved in disputes that include shares, business interests, and superannuation.
- Reviewing and evaluating the accuracy of financial information.
How Can We Help?
We have a CAPI master licensed investigator in our team who specialises in factual investigations in the workplace and commercial matters, specifically on the areas of Code of Conduct and disciplinary.
He is not only a Certified Practising Accountant but also a Certified Fraud Examiner who specialises in forensic accounting. He has the expertise to examine control weaknesses by analysing a large database of transactions.