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When working to win a case for a client, it can be easy to let pride and self-belief come before the pursuit of the best result.
It is not uncommon for lawyers to bang their head against a brick wall when working on forensic accounting criminal cases before they consider seeking outside expert assistance.
However, in litigation, as with anything, there is strength in numbers. Combining the joint-expertise of both lawyers and financial accountants can be a boon to any case, providing different perspectives and specialties.
Find out more about why forensic accounting can help with any criminal case.
What is a Forensic Accounting Firm?
In litigation, the term ‘forensic’ refers to something being suitable and appropriate in a court of law. Therefore, a forensic accounting firm entails a group of accountants possessing specialist knowledge and skills with the purpose of being able to collect and analyse evidence, and interpret and communicate their findings in court, boardrooms, or any other legal settings.
It is not uncommon when working through cases of financial crime, for lawyers to do all of the work themselves. However, in doing this, they would be missing out on an abundance of expert knowledge and benefits that could assist them in their situation.
The ultimate goal of a forensic accounting firm is to assist clients with complicated cases of financial crime, as well as help legal practitioners in performing the full scope of their duties.
Why Lawyers Need Litigation Support from Forensic Accounting
Forensic accountants are blessed with a unique skill set that can assist a lawyer in a criminal case. These skills can benefit a case for a wide variety of issues, from saving time to providing a new perspective on the reams of data that can come with these sorts of cases.
When lawyers go off on their own without enlisting the support of a forensic accountant to assist with the more specialist aspects of a financial case, they risk wasting their own time, missing out on specialist skills, and potentially putting the entire case at risk.
Here are the main ways a forensic accountant can support a lawyer during a criminal case:
Cases Are Often Time-Consuming
Generally, lawyers on a complicated case will be consumed with their casework and may not have the required time to pay attention to the small details that such a case may need.
A forensic accountant is supremely-experienced and skilled when it comes to tasks that require an extremely high level of attention-to-detail, and are experienced in, and more than prepared to put as long into a task as needed to achieve the desired result. This allows a lawyer to focus on other aspects of the case, leaving the data for the expert.
Forensic Accountants Possess Unique Skills
A forensic accountant is trained over the course of years and years to possess a wide range of specialities and skills to assist in all manner of cases.
From expert knowledge in accounting, auditing, and financial aspects of a case, as well as skills built through their experiences such as attention-to-detail, persistence and excellent communication skills, a forensic accountant can be a difference maker on your team.
The beauty of instructing a forensic accountant is that no matter what stage the case is, they can provide invaluable insight, not only to the intricacies of the case, but to the solicitors they are working alongside.
Assistance with the Discovery Phase
An expert forensic accountant can be pivotal towards the ultimate success or failure of the discovery phase due to their experience and eye for the details. The past experience and thorough training of these experts can ensure that all relevant data is requested and produced from the relevant sources.
If somebody does not know exactly what to look for, it can be difficult to make sure you receive the documents needed, a forensic accountant can ensure that no stone is unturned.
There Will be a Lot of Evidence to Work Through
Some cases, particularly ones involving fraud will be incredibly complex, and will require those involved to go through a seemingly endless amount of data. Unsurprisingly, this is an aspect of the job that many lawyers may not be all too enthused about. It can be tiring and repetitive work that can distract from other, equally vital aspects of the case.
Forensic accountants are trained to be as thorough and persistent as possible. A room full of boxes, or documents for an entire registered company will intimidate them no more than a single email between two parties.
Forensic Accountants Offer a Unique Perspective
A potential benefit of working with a forensic accountant that may not be always considered is that a forensic accountant brought in to assist on a case doesn’t work for your company. They are not tied by loyalty and can enter into any situation with fresh eyes.
Whether a forensic expert is instructed on the first day of the case or late in the day, a different expert’s view on proceedings can turn the tide of a case and allow you to miss nothing in your pursuit of the best result.
Translating into Plain English
One of the most important aspects in any investigation. It is vital to the ultimate success of the case that the reporting is done in a way that anybody can understand. Months of hard work, trawling through boxes and documents to find the data that can blow a case wide open will ultimately be wasted if they cannot be presented in a manageable way that can be easily understood.
For a case to ever have a chance to succeed in court, evidence will need to be provided and presented in a manner that is easy for both the judge and jury to understand. Forensic accounts are able to extrapolate their findings down into a more streamlined and digestible manner, without losing the intricate, in-depth nature of the findings.
Expert Witness Assistance
An aspect that many may not realise, a forensic accountant is not only trained to find data, they are also adept at appearing as an expert witness in court. They are able to field questions under incredibly intense cross-examination.
How Inquesta Helps with Forensic Accounting Legal Cases
Achieving the best possible result in a legal case is often a case of pooling expertise and knowledge from all manner of different sources towards one shared goal.
Inquesta’s team of forensic accountants can assist in meticulously trawling through figures and data, as well as help to present any findings in the most digestible manner possible.
Using years of experience and training, our team works tirelessly to provide the best possible result for each and every one of our clients.