Dec 23 Job Description: Forensic Accountant
There are many situations in which a business or individual may be in need of forensic accounting services. These businesses and individuals might not think, however, to look up a qualified forensic accountant in their area. This might be because forensic accounting is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of possible financial services. One way to determine if your financial service need falls under the category of forensic accounting is to learn more about exactly what a forensic accountant does. Knowing more about forensic accountants—where they might work, what they have studied, the range of services they might offer—could cause you to realize that a forensic accountant might be a good fit for your situation. If you read this list and think the services of a forensic accountant might help resolve your business, organizational or personal situation then contact a Clifton NJ forensic accounting services professional to get started.
Who Might Employ A Forensic Accountant?
Forensic accountants, like many others in specialized accounting fields, may be employed by a variety of companies. Public accounting firms, especially those with forensic accounting divisions and consulting firms who specialize in risk consulting are two employers of forensic accountants. Law firms, law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, insurance companies and government organizations may also employ forensic accountants. In general the demand for forensic accountants is rising as their skills are well-suited for dealing with the increasing fraudulent activity in recent years.
What Specific Services Do They Provide? What Skill-Set Might They Have?
Most forensic accountants have a general accounting background, but there are certain services and skills that are specifically associated with forensic accountants. For example, forensic accountants do research to trace funds and assets if they need to be recovered. Forensic accountants also perform analyses of financial data, accounting reports, financial findings and analytical data; these analyses are done in a systematic way for use in legal matters. In order to perform these accounting services for use in litigation, forensic accountants must develop a certain skill set that includes knowledge of issues like various types of fraud, money laundering, embezzlement and insurance claims. Their investigative skills must be similar to those of a financial or tax auditor; however, because forensic accountants often deal with financial activity that is consciously hidden, they may require further training in this area. More so than other accountants, they must be skilled at writing reports and able to testify as an expert witness.
What Might Their Educational Background Be?
A forensic accountant may have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the specific field of forensic accounting. They also may have a more general accounting or finance degree. Many forensic accountants also have a background in law, law enforcement or criminal justice. Certifications like a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) are also relevant to the field of forensic accounting. A Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) certification is also available and many forensic accountants are credentialed as such. The CFE credential indicates that the professional has more extensive knowledge of various types of fraud schemes and the various means of investigating these fraud schemes.