Mar 06 Forensic Accountants: Beyond Your Average Accountant
Many people associate the word “accounting,” and the entire accounting profession, with taxes. To so many individuals and business owners, accountants are the professionals they rely on assist in their tax preparation during a certain time of the year in early spring; beyond that, they do not give accounting much thought. This limited perception of accounting is understandable and even somewhat accurate. Most accountants are certainly at their busiest during the time of year when individuals and businesses require various tax services. The association between accountants and taxes is limited, however, because there are many accountants and accounting specialties that provide services beyond tax preparation during tax season. One such specialty is known as forensic accounting. Here is a look at the specialized services offered by forensic accountants; contact a Clifton NJ forensic accounting services provider, such as an individual forensic accountant or a financial services firm, for forensic accounting information specific to your individual or business needs.
What Forensic Accountants Do
The word “forensic” conjures up images of crime scene investigations for many. Though forensic accountants are not crime scene investigators, the connection is on the right track. Forensic accountants provide financial and accounting information and analysis that is specially suited for use in court and legal proceedings. The accounting analysis provided by forensic accountants is utilized by courts as evidence and information that helps clarify the debate, discussion and decision-making process. Some forensic accountants specialize in providing litigation support for lawyers who rely on the accurate financial information they can provide. Other forensic accountants focus on investigative accounting work, such as the close analysis of suspected theft, fraud and other forms of financial crime.
What Skills Forensic Accountants Have
Forensic accountants generally have specialized training and skills beyond the more general auditing expertise of many accountants. Beyond the financial understanding required of accountants, forensic accountants may also have a background or training in the legal or criminal justice fields. Beyond an ability to obtain and analyze financial information, an effective forensic accountant will be able to understand how these facts and figures fit within the context of a larger narrative. There are many certifications available for forensic accountants and many areas in which they may specialize. As the field of data analytics has expanded exponentially in recent years, the need for forensic accountants with data analytics expertise has increased along with it.
Who Needs Forensic Accounting
One of the advantages of becoming a forensic accountant is the diverse clientele in need of their services. Of course, this means that the forensic accounting field has a tendency to become highly specialized, so businesses and individuals who need forensic accounting help need to do their due diligence and find an accountant with relevant experience. Among those who enlist the help of forensic accountants are government agencies, lawyers, police departments, insurance companies, banks, businesses of all sizes and courts themselves. Large financial services firms will often employ forensic accountants across a wide spectrum of experience. Regardless of your profession or organization, if you find yourself in need of accounting services related to a legal matter of any kind, it is advisable to consult with a forensic accountant as early as possible in the legal process.