Forensic accounting, forensic accountancy or financial forensics is the specialty practice area of accounting that investigates whether firms engage in financial reporting misconduct. Duties and Responsibilities of a Forensic Accountant. Forensic accountants apply a range of skills and methods to determine whether there has been financial reporting misconduct.
Financial forensic engagements may fall into several categories. For example:
- Economic damages calculations, whether suffered through tort or breach of contract;
- Post-acquisition disputes such as earnouts or breaches of warranties;
- Bankruptcy, insolvency, and reorganization;
- Securities fraud;
- Tax fraud;
- Money laundering;
- Business valuation; and
- Computer forensics/e-discovery.
A forensic accountant is a CPA who’s an expert in investigating financial matters, such as fraud, theft, or litigation.
Special forensic accountants may focus on one type of financial conflict, such as intellectual property, contract disputes, or employee theft.
Forensic accountants can help to uncover evidence of financial fraud or abuse.
Forensic Accountant Duties:
- Assist with the financial records and audits for the litigation support division
- Assist attorneys with locating missing and required documents and information for case preparation
- Perform financial analysis of individuals, corporations, partnerships, and associations
- Understand and comply with legal, ethical, and professional standards
Forensic Accountant Responsibilities:
- Perform financial accounting activities, develop policies, and procedures, and perform audit functions
- Maintain accurate financial statements by recording transactions and maintaining accounting records
- Prepare financial statements by reviewing and verifying work; applying accounting principles and procedures; and using advanced financial and mathematical skills
- Research and record financial information, using accounting software and systems; analyze results; and resolve issues
- Investigate and resolve complex problems, discrepancies, and errors
- Develop internal controls based on business and operational needs
- Perform financial analysis, including cost/benefit, capital budgeting, and variance analysis
- Conduct audits and compile reports
- Review financial statements, reports, and other types of documentation
- Maintain accurate financial data by reviewing and verifying work; applying accounting principles and procedures; and using advanced financial and mathematical skills
- Conduct financial audits