Forensic accounting: What it is and how it is used

Forensic accountants are often asked to give testimony in court cases. They need to be prepared to answer questions regarding their findings and conclusions. This article will provide information on the basics of what forensic accounting is.

How it applies in the real world

Attorneys retain forensic accountants to determine whether an individual has committed fraud. In addition to testifying in court, forensic accountants also provide expert witness services to law firms and corporations.

Forensic accountants use a variety of techniques to gather evidence. These include analyzing financial statements, reviewing documents, interviewing witnesses, and examining physical evidence. The goal of forensic accountants is to find the truth behind a situation.

The goal of forensic accounting

In addition, forensic accountants may perform detailed computer searches. They may also conduct research into the company’s finances. The goal is to find out if any financial crimes were committed and if so, how and by whom.

The term “forensic accounting” refers to the use of accounting methods to determine facts in litigation or prior to litigation. In criminal law, forensic accountants are used to investigate financial crimes such as embezzlement, fraud, and theft. Attorneys hire forensic accountants to analyze data and prepare reports for trial. These reports may include charts, graphs, detailed explanations and summaries of evidence.

Forensic accountants use different methods than regular accountants. For example, they look at financial statements and records to determine if there were any irregularities. If they find something suspicious, they investigate further — essentially becoming financial detectives.

A day in court

The results of a forensic accountant’s investigation are often presented in court.  Their findings may have a significant role in a court’s determination of damages.

At Sol Schwartz & Associates, Cesar Mejia, CPA, is not only a qualified accountant but also a Certified Fraud Examiner, or CFE.  He may be reached at 210.384.8000 to discuss your case and forensic accounting requirements. 


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