Forensic Investigations For Businesses
Whether you are investigating potential or actual fraud of a person or business, or are going through a divorce need to find hidden assets, or if you need an expert witness at trial, our accredited forensic accountants can help.
Forensic Accounting, financial forensics or forensic accountancy is the area of accountancy that investigates a company or business if there is an anticipated or actual disagreement or any litigation.When the term ‘forensic’ is applied to accountancy, it means that it can be used in a court of law. It also means that it it meets a certain standard that is expected in the field of forensic accounting.
It will often be the forensic accountant that will provide expert evidence when the issue is at trial in court. Many of the largest accountant companies, as well as HMRC, the police and perhaps some smaller accountancy business will have specialised forensic accountancy teams.
Some forensic accountants, also sometimes called investigative auditors or forensic auditors, may also specialise in certain fields, for example personal injury, fraud, construction, anti-money laundering, insurance claims or construction.
Wherever there may be a dispute between businesses or business partners, or perhaps HMRC has concerns over the taxes of your business and launches an investigation, it is the forensic accountancy teams that will be called upon to investigate what has been going on, they are specialist and they may also give evidence at trial in the law courts.
In essence, wherever there may be a dispute between businesses or business partners, or perhaps HMRC has concerns over the taxes of your business and launches an investigation, it is the forensic accountancy teams that will be called upon to look into what has been going on, they are specialist and they may also give evidence at trial in the law courts.
Forensic accountancy investigations can fall into different areas, some of these include:
A forensic accountancy team may be called upon in cases of professional negligence, where they investigate and comment upon other professionals work.
A forensic accountancy team may also be called upon in family or marital law, where they would analyse the lifestyle of a spouse for determining what support package should be provided.
Forensic accountants will also look at the income that is available for equitable distribution and for child support.
After the suspicion of fraud, which is a criminal matter, forensic accountants will be called upon to determine whether fraud has taken place, seeing whether the numbers add up.
They would also ask a forensic accountant to look into money laundering in much the same way.
There is a further specialisation for forensic accountants which is forensic analytics.
This is where the forensic accountant will get and analyse electronic data, to determine whether any financial fraud has taken place.
There are some key points which forensic analysts tend to follow, it tends to go in the following order:
As an example, an employer may ask a forensic analyst to look at an employees expenditure on the company card, to determine if any of the expenditure was in fact for personal use, or if any of the expenditure could have been diverted for personal use.
Investigative Accountants, experts accountants or forensic accountants are often involved in cases involving the recovery of the proceeds of crime, or in cases involving proceedings for confiscation of proceeds of crime, or where their is assumed or actual proceeds of crime or where there is suspected or actual money laundering.
All the relevant and appropriate legislation is in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in the United Kingdom.
To be a forensic accountant in the United Kingdom it is usually expected that you would hold some or all of the following qualifications:
Certified Public Accountants (CPA - US) with AICPA's [Certified in Financial Forensics est. 2008] (CFF) Credentials, Certified Management Accountants (CMA - Canada), Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE - US / International), Certified Forensic Accounting Professional [Certified Forensic Auditors] (CFA - England & Wales) granted by the Forensic Auditors Certification Board of England and Wales (FACB), Certificate Course on Forensic Accounting and Fraud Detection (FAFD) by Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Chartered Accountants (CA - Canada), Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA - Canada)),or Certified Forensic Investigation Professionals (CFIP) Chartered Certified Accountants (CCA - UK).
However, it should be noted that in India their forensic accountants are slightly different and go by a different name, they are called Certified Forensic Accounting Professionals.
In the United States of America there is a certified Forensic Accountant (CRFAC) course which is run by the American Board of Forensic Accounting (est. 1993), this course will assess the already Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) skill set, their competencies and knowledge of forensic accounting in a wide variety of areas or specialisms.
A Forensic Accountant may be called upon to provide their expertise with litigation support (where they are asked to provide their expertise on a legal case, often it will be to determine the calculation of any damages incurred to a plaintiff), they can also be called upon to look into any suspected illegal activities, or what is known as investigative accounting.
In 2016 the largest forensic accounting and forensic auditors bodies came together from all over the world and formed the Forensic Auditors Certification Board (FACB) of England and Wales, this was then registered to an address in London.
The Forensic Auditors Certification Board (FACB) is a body of professional forensic accountants from all over the world; this includes the Institute of Forensic Auditors of Zimbabwe (IFA), the International Institute of Certified Forensic Accountants (IICFA) of USA, Institute of Forensic Accountants of Pakistan (IFAP), the Institute of Forensic Accountants of Nigeria (IFA) and the Institute of Certified Forensic Accountants (ICFA) of USA and Canada.
There are several roles played by the Forensic Auditors Certification Board (FACB), one of which is to work towards the standardisation of the certification, therefore examination, of forensic investigators around the world.
Forensic accountants and auditors sit one standardised examination under the Forensic Auditors Certification Board (FACB), which once passed, along with meeting any other professional standards will then receive the accreditation of Certified Forensic Auditor (CFA), or if they wish to go into public service the accreditation is called Registered Forensic Auditor (RFA).
These certifications must be renewed every year.
Whilst the Forensic Auditors Certification Board (FACB) awards these credentials and certifications for forensic auditors they also provide oversight and scrutiny to any professional organisation that wishes to join the organisation, essentially doing quality control of any newly admitted member to ensure that they also meet the standards of the organisation.
Anyone holding the Forensic Auditors Certification Board (FACB) qualification are able to practice as a forensic investigator globally.
Within the largest accounting firms you will often find a forensic accounting team, however you will also find smaller firms who specialise in just this.
There are different methodologies which are used in fraud investigations and forensic accounting as opposed to internally auditing a company or business.
Therefore, it is considered that forensic investigations should not be handled by internal auditing experts, they should be conducted by professional forensic investigators or forensic accounting experts.
Fraud auditors will most likely be called to investigate a crime a bit earlier than a forensic accountant, yet the input of a forensic investigator is invaluable in criminal investigations.
They are able to look in depth into complex and difficult to understand numerical data and financial transaction and then relate that information in such a way that everyone can understand.
This is essential, because if and when a fraud is put to trial in the law courts, the information must be easy to understand by the jury, which will often be consisting of ordinary laypersons and not forensic investigators.
Internal auditors use certain criteria to conduct their audits, and these criteria may not bring to light the evidence requisite to prove fraud, the evidence that a regulatory body or jury would need to secure a conviction.
It should be noted that should an internal auditor be called for when a forensic investigator is needed there can be legal risks involved, there may be malpractice risks which would be very serious for any consultant or business in this field.
A forensic accountant will use a wide skill set to investigate fraud.
They will use their understanding of business information, economic theories, financial reporting systems, data management, auditing and accounting procedures and standards, electronic discovery, investigative techniques and evidence gathering, data analysis techniques and litigation procedures and processes to carry out their investigations.
Forensic investigators and forensic accountants are also beginning to be much more proactive on reducing risk by carrying out extensive investigative procedures within the statutory audit that they are carrying out.
A forensic accountant will also act in and advisory capacity to audit committees, helping with investment analysis research and in fraud deterrence programmes.
Whether you are going through a divorce, or you are looking into the potential fraud of a business or individual, our forensic accountants are here to help.
Perhaps, after months of waiting, you have finally received the financial disclosure of your ex-spouse, and it appears to be incomplete or does not make cohesive sense.
Things seem undervalued, like the family business that you both grew from scratch.
Something seems out of place, your instincts are nagging at you, you have a feeling that assets have been moved and hidden, you would need a forensic investigator or forensic accountant on your team throughout this divorce.
Often a divorce case will focus on marital debts and assess and the fair division of those.
Sometimes this is very straightforward, however sometimes this is a much more complicated process.
To ensure a fair settlements, it is essential that all assets are known about and have been quantified.
This can be where our expert forensic accountants come in, their expertise in this field can be invaluable.
Why not contact us so our friendly, professional, family forensic accountants can help you?
Why not contact our professional, friendly, family forensic accountants to see how they can help you?
Our forensic accountants have years of experience in determining any losses that may have arisen from personal injury and also clinical negligence as well as fatal accidents.
Our professional, experienced and friendly forensic accountants are on hand to help.
Our forensic accountants can provide services which will assist in:
It is recommended that if you have suffered a personal injury, or have lost someone due to negligence, that you contact a forensic accountant so that they can assist and ensure you get the remuneration that is appropriate and fair.
Why not contact our specialist personal injury forensic accountants to see what they can do for you today?
Our professional forensic accountants have years of experience working in crime and fraud.
Whether that is defense or prosecution of defendants our expert forensic accountants are on hand to help.
Why not contact our expert, accredited forensic accountants today to see how they can help in your defense or investigation?
Investigation conducted by Her Majesties Revenue and Customs can be an extremely stressful and worrying time for anyone involved in such a thing.
We can assist you in any HMRC tax investigation and ensure that an appropriate settlement is reached if it is needed.
We can help with:
Why not contact our expert, tax forensic accountants to see how they can help?
Our forensic accountancy experts work in the commercial sector to provide any financial or legal issues at stake in commercial cases.
Why not contact our expert, professional commercial forensic accountants today to see how they can assist you?
Ensure full HMRC compliance
For amazing projects
To avoid problems
Forensic accounting is using accounting to investigate embezzlement or fraud and to analyse financial data to be used in legal proceedings.
Forensic accountancy or forensic accounting is the field of accounting that is used in litigation or anticipated or actual disputes.
Forensic accountant are called upon when investigating suspected or actual fraud, embezzlement or in legal proceedings such as divorce.
Auditing is looking for any errors or misstatements made in financial statements. Forensic accounting is looking for fraud or embezzlement, when a misstatement is intentional, and recording it for legal proceedings.
Before you call a forensic accountant you should already have at least a suspicion of fraud. An auditor may suspect fraud and will then call for a forensic accountant. A forensic accountant will be able to use their years of experience and also their training to investigate suspected fraud or embezzlement. A forensic accountant may also be called upon in divorce proceedings, where one suspects the other of hiding assets.
You should contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or report it online.
If you have been the victim of fraud you can contact the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on 0800 111 6768 (freephone number) or 0300 500 8082.
Forensic accountants are employed by financial institutions or government organizations, law enforcement agencies, consultancy firms in risk assessment and by accounting firms' forensic accounting teams.
10 warning signs of fraud:
A fraud risk assessment is where an organisation will have itself checked for any vulnerabilities that may leave them open to external or internal fraud.
A forensic accountant will be called upon to investigate suspected embezzlement or fraud, and their findings can be used to take someone to trial. They can also be called upon as an expert witness.
A forensic accountant will look at bank records, contracts, tax returns, as well as other financial documents to ensure a fair split of assets at the time of divorce. They will also attempt to uncover any assets that one of the individuals has attempted to hide.
Forensic accountants are important for detecting, preventing and bringing fraudsters to trial.
A forensic accountant is vitally important in fighting financial abuses. In any and all financial disputes and litigation a court will rely on a forensic accountants expertise.