December 2020 Foodman website and JD Supra

Presenting results in an easily understood manner is something one must expect a forensic accountant to bring to the plate. The skill set of a forensic accountant can provide a significant advantage by taking complex financial data and putting it in an understandable format for an attorney, judge, and jury.

When we speak of forensic accounting, we are referring to the specialty practice area of accounting that describes engagements resulting from actual or anticipated disputes or litigation. It is also known as accounting litigation support. 

Combining the professional principles of independence, objectivity and integrity, forensic accountants can provide results are verifiable and easily explained to a jury, a judge, an opposing attorney or opposing expert. They are based on the reality of what actually occurred. They speak for themselves. Forensic accountants work from a “historical verifiable information” perspective.  Some of the activities that are undertaken by forensic accountants to verify information, and consequently add credibility to an attorney’s case are:

  • identifying documents that the attorney should request, or subpoena, early on in a case.
  • preparing the questions that the attorney can use in depositions, trials, or interrogatories.
  • conducting background investigations. 
  • knowing how to trace and prepare exhibits to visually prove patterns.
  • conducting interviews of witnesses.
  • uncovering, calculating, and reporting on misuses of funds and other organizational assets; as well as the effectiveness of organizational processes.
  • going over books, records, bank accounts, data, and other pertinent documents with a “fine-toothed comb”.
  • knowing how to search for facts when fraud has taken place.
  • solving complex financial puzzles.

Forensic Accountants expand an Attorney’s capabilities

A forensic accountant that provides the resources and facts that support a successful case resolution for an attorney is one that can simplify information, stay factual and communicate effectively.  This is particularly important in the environment that we live in. It is widely reported today that jurors prefer less effort when considering situations involving complicated or seemingly ambiguous material.  Jurors tend to somewhat neglect standards of evidence when considering material that they do not understand. Consequently, clearer, and more convincing evidence will yield a better for a legal team.  

Given that forensic accountants expand an attorney’s capabilities, a forensic accountant partnership is a winning situation, that bring full value to a client.    

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