Cases requiring financial forensics and fraud investigations can often be large and complex, with a series of extremely well-hidden transactions that need a fine tooth-comb to detect. Forensic accountants possess all the expertise to conduct far-reaching and complicated investigations to uncover the fraud, identify who is responsible, and quantify damages. They will do this with the aim of securing the best possible result for their client.
During the course of a fraud investigation, it will be a forensic accountant’s responsibility to build a case that is strong and compelling enough to stand up in court. It will also need to survive against what will undoubtedly be robust cross-examination. A specialist forensic accounting service will be adept at carrying out investigative operations, computer assisted auditing, conducting interviews, reviewing documentation and much more besides.
The sheer level of attention-to-detail that is needed to bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion is often too much for a prosecution or defence legal team to cope with alone. The input of a specialist forensic accountant is therefore essential.
As well as investigating whether financial fraud has indeed taken place, forensic accounting will be utilised to identify those responsible, identify motives, and uncover exactly how much money has been lost to fraudulent activities. The findings will then be collated in an in-depth report that is presented to the client.
It is in the quantifying of damages where forensic accounting can really assist. Since legal cases involving financial fraud can be notoriously lengthy and complicated, many solicitors will look to forensic accountants to use their expertise in finance and accounting, combined with their investigative ability, to quantify or challenge the amount of a claim. Many legal professionals simply do not have the time or necessary expertise to build or challenge a case and so rely on forensic accountants to assist. Forensic accountants can also act as an expert witness, and those with the relevant experience may also present evidence in court as such.