Understanding Forensic Accounting

If you’ve enjoyed an episode of CSI or Bones lately, then you’ve probably heard the term “forensics” before. The word “forensic” has a couple of different definitions. It can mean utilizing the scientific method to help solve crimes as well as anything that is suitable to be used in a court of law.

The methods and techniques put forth in forensic science can be applied to numerous situations, including accounting. This is where we get the field of Forensic Accounting.

This specialized accounting practice area covers the investigation and analysis of financial information and evidence for the purpose of use in actual or anticipated litigation or other disputes.

There is a nearly limitless number of situations that could call for the expertise of a forensic accountant. For example, they can be hired by business owners to investigate suspected fraud within a company through identifying inconsistencies or anomalies in the books. They can also help put in place preventative measures to avoid fraud in the future. In cases of criminal or civil fraud charges, forensic accountants can provide assessments of financial reports and numbers as well as judgment as to their accuracy and whether or not they reflect reality.

Forensic accountants often work closely with attorneys throughout investigations for various types of litigation. They provide expertise in gathering and analyzing financial information related to criminal charges that can then be used as evidence in court or to help recover lost proceeds of a crime such as money-laundering.

Forensic accountants can also be instrumental in family law cases. An accountant who is trained in forensic accounting methods could help locate hidden assets in a divorce or help determine an equitable amount of spousal or child support that should be required based on the finances of a person’s lifestyle.

Finally, forensic accountants can be utilized for financial analysis of bankruptcy cases, again working closely with bankruptcy attorneys to help make determinations about insolvency and investigate the relevant finances.

Forensic accounting is an exciting field with a wealth of applications. If you are a business owner or an attorney in need of an experienced and knowledgeable forensic accountant, please call Desnoyers CPA to learn how I can help you. I am a Certified Fraud Examiner and ready to provide you with accounting expertise and first-class service.

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Written by Desnoyers CPA

Desnoyers CPA

Known for her friendly, outgoing nature and her rare talent for financial foresight, Lydia Desnoyers has been serving individuals and small businesses in Florida since 2010. After earning her Master’s Degree in Accounting from Nova Southeastern University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Florida State University, she became a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner.