Forensic accounting can bring clarity and peace of mind to a variety of delicate situations.
Maybe you’re worried that you or your business have been the victim of fraud and you need an expert to examine your books and figure out what really happened.
Perhaps you suspect that someone in your organization mishandled money and you need a professional to analyze your financial data to prove it.
Or, you may be involved in litigation and need an expert financial witness to testify on your behalf.
Beyond these common situations, businesses require forensic accounting to explore potential acquisitions. This type of vetting ensures that potential buyers make wise investments without overpaying.
Forensic accounting (or forensic auditing) is a specialized area of accounting that deals with actual and anticipated financial disputes. These conflicts include a broad spectrum of life circumstances, from business-related litigation to divorce.
Businesses and individuals need investigative accounting to prove fraud or misconduct.
This can take many forms: theft of inventory or other property by employees, misappropriation of funds by employees, kickbacks to employees from outside businesses, securities fraud, and insurance fraud.
During investigative accounting, experts examine financial records and data in order to bring clarity to complex situations. Professional accountants organize the investigation, analyze the financials, and provide a report that documents all findings.
We recently worked with a controller who was reviewing some financials of a construction company and noticed strange transactions from the CFO. After a review of the company’s financials, our team discovered unapproved bonuses and personal expenses paid for with company money.
We were able to document the embezzlement and work alongside the company’s insurance to file a claim, recover the money, and provide expert witness testimony to build a legal case. Our report allowed the construction company to pursue the necessary legal action against the CFO.
In another instance, we worked with a couple sorting through a divorce and settlement.
One spouse believe the other was hiding some assets and lying about the value of others. We were able to enter the situation as an uninvolved third party in order to review the finances and determine what was actually happening.
Once again, our team helped uncover the truth for our client and provide expert testimony to build a legal case.
Forensic accounting investigations vary between industries, but common examples include:
- Disputes among shareholders or partners.
- Personal injury claims/motor vehicle accidents.
- Insurance claims.
- Business and employee fraud investigations.
- Matrimonial disputes.
- Business economic losses including contract disputes, construction claims, expropriations, product liability claims, trademark and patent infringements, and losses stemming from breach of a non-compete agreement.
Another aspect of forensic accounting entails litigation support for current or pending cases. This can include any of the following services:
- Assistance in obtaining necessary documentation to support or refute a claim.
- Examination of relevant documentation to make an assessment of the case.
- Review of the damages report by the opposing expert.
- Assistance with settlement discussion and negotiations.
- Attendance at trial proceedings to listen to opposing expert testimony and assist with cross-examination.
If any of these apply to you, consider hiring a forensic accountant.
At Culpepper CPA, we work for the best interests of our clients, using our expertise to bring clarity and closure to challenging situations.
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