forensic Accounting Forensic Accounting is one of those areas of accounting that is not spoken about a lot but is a highly regarded, highly regulated field. By definition, Forensic Accounting is defined by as:

The integration of accounting, auditing, and investigative skills yields the specialty known as Forensic Accounting. “Forensic”, according to the Webster’s Dictionary means, “Belonging to, used in or suitable to courts of judicature or to public discussion and debate.” “Forensic Accounting”, provides an accounting analysis that is suitable to the court which will form the basis for discussion, debate and ultimately dispute resolution. Forensic Accounting encompasses both Litigation Support and Investigative Accounting.

This is the area of accounting that deals with things like auditing, financial investigations, and court proceedings. For Forensic Accountants, the daily activities they engage in involve protecting company and client assets, as well as proving, through thorough documentation, the misuse and misappropriation of funds. Many either work in tandem with or are licensed themselves as, lawyers.

There are a number of terms that a person will need to know and understand in order to fully educate themselves on the nature of forensic accounting. These come from as well.

Forensic Investigation The utilization of specialized investigative skills in carrying out an inquiry conducted in such a manner that the outcome will have application to a court of law. A Forensic Investigation may be grounded in accounting, medicine, engineering or some other discipline.

Forensic Audit An examination of evidence regarding an assertion to determine its correspondence to established criteria carried out in a manner suitable to the court. An example would be a Forensic Audit of sales records to determine the quantum of rent owing under a lease agreement, which is the subject of litigation.

Internal Audit An audit performed by an employee who examines operational evidence to determine whether prescribed operating procedures have been followed.

External Audit An audit performed by an auditor engaged in public practice leading to the expression of a professional opinion which lends credibility to the assertion under examination.

If an individual wants to be involved in this highly regulated field, education is key. A quick search in Youtube gives one some very good resources.

For a quick overview, B2Bwhiteboard presents a fun cartoon on forensic accounting, using the late great Albert Einstein as its narrator and main character.

For something more technical and in depth, look at this video entitled “It’s all about Money-Forensic Accounting” posted by Ron Rose and featuring Sam Rosenfarb, CPA, CFE and Alan Winters, CPA,ABV,AP,CFE.