12. What standards does a Forensic Accountant need to follow?

In Canada, CPAs performing investigative and forensic accounting engagements need to be aware of and follow Standard Practices for Investigative and Forensic Accounting Engagements (SPIFA).

This document is available for download through CPA Canada .

SPIFA provides standards in engagement acceptance, planning and scope of work, information collection and analysis, file documentation, reporting and expert testimony.

In December 2018, the AICPA Forensic and Valuations Services Executive Committee (FVSEC) issued an Exposure Draft: Statement on Standards for Forensic Services No. 1 (SSFS No. 1).

SSFS No. 1 applies to all members and member firms of the AICPA including CPAs with the designation Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) for engagements accepted on or after May 1, 2019.

SSFS No. 1 provides standards in professional competence; due professional care; planning and supervision; sufficient relevant data; integrity, objectivity and independence; understanding with client; communication with client; contingent fee arrangements in Litigation services; and opining as to the ultimate conclusion of fraud or other legal determinations.

The Exposure Draft: SSFS No. 1 is available for download through the AICPA.

Standards protect the public interest by ensuring consistency in the performance of forensic accounting assignments and by ensuring that minimum standards of practice are met. In addition, practice standards provide a framework for the application of professional judgment in conducting forensic accounting assignments.