loading icon

What is Forensic Accounting?

What is Forensic Accounting?

Forensic accounting is a specialty practice area where accounting, auditing and investigative skills are used to analyze information that is suitable for use in a court of law.

Forensic accountants are often engaged to quantify damages in instances related to fraud and embezzlement as well as on matters involving insurance, personal injury, business disputes, business interruption, divorce and marital disputes, construction, environmental damages, cyber-crime, products liability, business valuation and more.

MDD specializes in economic damage quantification (EDQ). This is the practice of measuring, in financial terms the value of harm or injury that has been inflicted on a person or property.

What is a Forensic Accountant and what do Forensic Accountants do?

Forensic accounting professionals are skilled at quantifying damages and determining the full extent of a loss. They are involved in four basic areas of forensic analytics: data collection, data preparation, data analysis and reporting.  Specifically, forensic accountants perform tasks that include examining business records, analyzing historical statements, looking for irregularities in business practices, reviewing journal entries, analyzing trends, tracing the flow of funds, interviewing relevant parties, analyzing electronic data and performing an overall evaluation of the situation in question. Beyond this, they can serve as consultants or expert witnesses. When required, they also collaborate with other experts.

Forensic accountants are sometimes relied on to train internal auditors and investigators. They can also help gauge an organization’s vulnerability to issues such as fraud. Plus, they can help companies implement controls that will reduce their exposure to criminal and civil wrongdoing as well as irreparable damage to their reputation.

Forensic accountants are regularly called on to provide evidence and expert witness testimony in courts, arbitrations and mediations. This evidence may be used to help an attorney establish their case or reinforce the merits of their argument. In other instances, the evidence may be utilized to refute the conclusions that are being proposed by opposing counsel.  When serving as expert witnesses in court proceedings, forensic accountants give testimony that is based upon sufficient facts or data that is the product of reliable and accepted principles and methods.

What qualifications do Forensic Accountants hold?

Most forensic accountants have a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or a related field.  They generally have at least one of the following designations: Certified Forensic Accountant (CFA), Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) and Investigative & Forensic Accountant (IFA).

Who uses Forensic Accountants?

Forensic accountants are used around the world by insurance companies, independent adjustment firms, lawyers, government and law enforcement agencies as well as by businesses of all sizes – from multi-national corporations to small businesses.

Large accounting firms quite often have a forensic accounting department, however, there are also firms such as MDD Forensic Accountants that are dedicated to providing economic damage quantification and litigation support solely for forensic accounting matters.

Why hire MDD?

With forensic accounting professionals in over 40 offices on 5 continents, MDD has global resources to assist our clients with their forensic accounting needs. We offer a range of forensic accounting services that is second to none, with expertise across more than 800 industries. In addition, as a firm we hold 18 distinct designations and we speak over 30 languages.

Our forensic accounting professionals are exceptionally dedicated and qualified experts with proven track records who provide clear and concise assessments that stand up to scrutiny. What’s more, MDD is an independent and dedicated forensic accounting practice meaning we are free of the conflicts that can present difficulties for other accounting firms.

Click here to read more about what we do and how we can help.