When Do You Need a Forensic Accountant?

What is forensic accounting? A forensic accountant is a certified public accountant that investigates financial situations for instances of fraud or to help prevent fraud from occurring. They can evaluate the value of a business, examine or reconstruct financial records, and analyze tax information and income. A forensic account can be used by a variety of business, both big and small, as well as in a number of other financial-related matters, such as divorces, bankruptcy, and even terrorism by tracking financial statements. But do you need a forensic accountant?


Let’s start with a common scenario that might involve the use of a forensic accountant by the common individual: Divorce. A divorce is never fun, especially when you have to decide who gets what. If a lot of money or property was earned or acquired after marriage, then a forensic accountant will be able to help decide who deserves what. Beyond this, let’s assume that you believe your spouse (well, ex-spouse), has been hiding money from you or has been spending way more than they have lead you to believe. A forensic accountant is skilled in digging through financial records to account for these accusations, and thus can be a useful tool in a divorce settlement.

A forensic accountant is often used to settle disputes about money in businesses, especially within the realm of insurance, worker’s comp, company credit cards, and much, much more. Other potential uses for a forensic accountant involve instances where employees feel they had money withheld from them by their employer; when a new business owner needs to have the value of his business evaluated; and in cases where a business owner feels fraud has been committed.

If choosing your own forensic accountant and not having one appointed to your case by the court, then you should make sure that the one you choose is in good standing with the court. You should always do proper research before choosing a forensic accountant to ensure everything works out in the end for you or your business.

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Posted on May 25, 2012 at 9:00 AM