Friday, May 28, 2010


What do Bernie Madoff, the Stanford Financial Group and Akai Holdings all have in common? Answer; they were all involved in major financial frauds. Almost a day doesn’t go by that the news media isn’t reporting another suspected financial fraud. So, is there an opportunity here? If you are an accountant or an auditor you are in luck. CPAs in today’s business environment are being called upon to apply their professional skills in the legal arena more and more frequently; especially in the area of forensics. The term “forensic” means suitable for use in a court of law.

The AICPA says that there is a growing demand for CPAs skilled as forensic accountants or forensic auditors. The terms forensic accountant or forensic auditor are used interchangeably since both perform the same basic functions. They may also be referred to as investigative auditors.

The forensic auditor will use their understanding of financial reporting systems, accounting and auditing standards and procedures, evidence gathering and investigative techniques to perform their engagements. Quite often the forensic auditor will be required to report his or her findings in a court of law.

Forensic auditors may be called upon to examine financial documents in white collar crimes such as:
· Fraud
· Identity theft
· Embezzlement
· Securities fraud, and
· Insider trading

The forensic auditor may also be asked to:
· Investigate potential financial frauds
· Calculate and quantify losses or damages
· Analyze lifestyles for spousal support purposes
· Determine income available for child support

Forensic auditors may have one of more of the following professional credentials:
· CPA – Certified Public Accountant
· CFE – Certified Financial Fraud Examiner
· CFF – Certified in Financial Forensics

If you would like to know more about forensic accounting or auditing, click here for a list of courses on forensic accounting and auditing.

So what do you think? Should you add forensic accounting or auditing to the list of services you provide?

1 comment:

  1. This post is really great.

    Your blog is really informative and the topic discussed is quite interesting.

    Thanks for posting!