Forensic accountants are employed by public practice accountancy firms, insurance companies, banks, police forces and government agencies in order to conduct investigations into fraud and other financial misrepresentation.
What does it involve?
Forensic accounting is about the integration of accounting, information technology and investigation skills.
Forensic accountants investigate commercial fraud, divorce and personal injury cases. analyse, interpret, and present complex financial information in order to enable lawyers, insurance companies and other clients to resolve disputes.
Typical tasks include:
- Reading witness statements
- Analysing financial information
- Writing up reports
- Developing computer applications to assist in the analysis and presentation of financial evidence
- Appearing in court as an expert witness.
Forensic accountants provide evidence to clients and the authorities, working with lawyers and regulation on litigation issues.
The variety of work involved depends on your employer: employees of public practice firms can enjoy an extremely wide range of projects, whilst forensic accountants working in-house for banks or insurance companies will have more focus on particular types of financial misrepresentation.
Skills needed to be a forensic accountant:
As well as having a strong logical and analytical mind, forensic accountants need to be familiar with legal concepts and procedures and have excellent communication skills.