types of assignments does a Forensic Accountant perform?
Forensic Accountants become involved in a wide
range of investigations, spanning many different industries. The
practical and in-depth analysis that a Forensic Accountant will
bring to a case helps uncover trends that bring to light the
Detailed below are various areas in which a
Forensic Accountant will often become involved.
Forensic investigations often relate to
criminal investigations on behalf of police forces. For example,
a Forensic Accountant may be retained by the R.C.M.P., the
O.P.P., as well as by regional or local police forces and
organizations such as the Law Society.
A Forensic Accountant's report is prepared with
the objective of presenting evidence in a professional and
Shareholders' and Partnership
These assignments often involve a detailed
analysis of numerous years accounting records to quantify the
issues in dispute. For example, a common issue that often arises
is the compensation and benefits received by each of the
disputing shareholders or partners.
Personal Injury Claims / Motor Vehicle
A Forensic Accountant is often asked to quantify the economic losses resulting from a motor vehicle accident. A Forensic Accountant needs to be familiar with the legislation in place which pertains to motor vehicle accidents.
Cases of medical malpractice and wrongful
dismissal often involve similar issues in calculating the
resulting economic damages.
Business Interruption / Other Types of
Insurance policies differ significantly as to their terms and conditions. Accordingly, these assignments involve a detailed review of the policy to investigate coverage issues and the appropriate method of calulating the loss.
A Forensic Accountant is often asked to assist
from either an insured or insurer's perspective in the settlement
of a case.
Examples of these types of assignments include;
business interruptions, property losses and employee dishonesty
Business investigations can involve funds
tracing, asset identification and recovery, forensic intelligence
gathering and due diligence reviews.
Employee fraud investigations often involve procedures to determine the existence, nature and extent of fraud and may concern the identification of a perpetrator. These investigations often entail interviews of personnel who had access to the funds and a detailed review of the documentary evidence.
Matrimonial disputes from a Forensic Accounting
point-of-view often involve the tracing, locating and evaluation
of assets. The assets to be evaluated and valued may be
businesses, property or other assets.
Business Economic Losses
Examples of assignments involving business
economic losses include; contract disputes, construction claims,
expropriations, product liability claims, trademark and patent
infringements and losses stemming from a breach of a non-competition
These investigations are often approached from
two different but complimentary perspectives, these being:
If the professional in question is an
accountant then a Forensic Accountant could be involved with both perspectives. If
the matter involves some other profession a Forensic
Accountant will normally be retained to perform only a loss
Mediation and Arbitration
Because of their familiarity and comfort with
legal issues and procedures some Forensic Accountants have sought
out special training and become involved in alternative dispute
ADR services include both mediation and arbitration and are designed to help individuals and businesses resolve disputes with minimal disruption and in a timely fashion.