Fraud & Forensics

The primary role in forensic accounting is that of a forensic accountant. The forensic accountants are the crime-busting bods of the accountancy world.

Their job is to apply their accountancy knowledge to be on the trail of suspected fraud cases, tax evasion and money laundering activity.

Fraud & forensics: on the case…

Forensic accountants trace a company’s accounts, sifting through sometimes years’ worth of financial documents to figure out how a company has managed to lose money and how and where the books have gone astray using accounting tools, models and specialist techniques. They have to gather the evidence to show this, and often liaise with solicitors accordingly.

All of this business doesn’t just require an excellent grasp of numbers. These accountants will at times conduct interviews through the course of the investigation with various people at a company to support their analysis and help them gain an understanding of what exactly has gone on. They play an indispensable part of a case, and may even find themselves standing up in court to provide the evidence and present the conclusions they collate. Some cases can run on for a very long time – even years!

Patience is a virtue…and a soft skill…

Projects are often convoluted and require a lot of patience, as well as a great ability to spot inconsistences. As the detectives of the accountancy industry, an eagle eye for detail is essential, as is the ability to adapt to cases in almost any industry imaginable. Public sector, private sector, and even governmental cases are all possible! Experienced forensic accountants could find themselves working on some very high profile cases.

Forensic accounting services can form a branch of a consultancy or wider professional services firm, or else a specialist accountancy firm.