Forensic Accounting

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Forensic Accounting

Forensic accounting, sometimes called investigative accounting, involves the application of accounting concepts and techniques to legal problems. Forensic accountants investigate and document financial Fraud and white-collar crimes such as Embezzlement. They also provide litigation support to attorneys and law enforcement agencies investigating financial wrongdoing.

Many different organizations consult forensic accountants. Corporations hire forensic accountants to investigate allegations of fraud on the part of their employees, suppliers, or customers. Attorneys consult forensic accountants to obtain estimates of losses, damages, and assets related to specific legal cases in many areas of the law, including Product Liability, shareholder disputes, and breaches of contract. In criminal investigations, forensic accountants analyze complex financial transactions such as those in Stock Market manipulations and price fixing schemes. They also help governments achieve compliance with various forms of regulation.

Forensic accountants typically become involved in financial investigations after fraud auditors have discovered evidence of deceptive financial transactions. After conducting an investigation, they write and submit a report of their findings. When a case goes to trial, they are likely to testify as expert witnesses.

Further readings

Arnoff, Norman B., and Sue C. Jacobs. 2001. "Forensic Accountant's Role as Expert Before and During Trial." New York Law Journal 226 (August 17): 3.

Bologna, G. Jack, and Robert J. Lindquist. 1985. Fraud Auditing and Forensic Accounting. 2d ed. New York: Wiley.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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