Forensic Accounting: An Overview of What You Need to Know

Forensic Accounting: An Overview of What You Need to Know

Have you ever heard of forensic accounting? If not, it's a term to describe the process of using accounting skills and knowledge to solve legal issues. Forensic accountants can help in situations where there's been financial fraud or other illegal activities that have affected businesses or individuals.

This article will cover forensic accounting and what you need to know about it.


What is a Forensic Accountant?

Forensic accounting is a specialised accounting type used in legal proceedings. Forensic accountants are called upon to investigate a company's or individual's financial records and provide information that can be used as evidence in court. They examine the business practices, clientele, and other details related to a business to determine precisely what happened in the past.


Skills Needed to Be a Forensic Accountant 

A forensic accountant must have a wide variety of skills and knowledge. These include:

  • Investigative Skills: Forensic accountants are tasked with investigating the financial records of a business or individual. They must have strong investigative skills to find all the necessary information and uncover discrepancies.
  • Critical Thinking: Forensic accountants must be able to think critically about the information they uncover. They will often review large amounts of data, making it difficult to determine what is relevant and what isn't. The ability to think critically in this situation is key.
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills: Forensic accountants need strong communication and interpersonal skills to succeed. They will often have to work with attorneys, investigators, and other forensic accountants on their investigations.
  • Accounting Knowledge: Forensic accountants must have extensive knowledge of accounting principles, including tax laws and regulations.


Where Is Forensic Accounting Used?

Forensic accounting is used by law firms, government agencies, courts, and even law enforcement agencies when they need to prove or refute claims made by an individual or company. Forensic accountants may work with lawyers on cases ranging from divorce proceedings to tax audits; however, many forensic accountants work for private companies that deal with large sums of money daily.

Forensic accounting is used to help a business, government agency, or other entity in a legal dispute. It can be used in a wide variety of situations, including:

  • Tax Disputes: Forensic accountants can help determine the tax liability of an individual or company in a tax dispute. They may be asked to evaluate a business's books and records and its financial statements to see if they are accurate and reflect the actual state of affairs when they were prepared.
  • Business Fraud Investigations:<span style="font-weight: 400;"> This can involve examining financial records and other documents to determine whether there has been any wrongdoing and determining the extent of any damages that may have resulted from such fraud.
  • Corporate Crimes: Forensic accountants may be asked to help determine whether a company has committed a crime and its liability if it has. This could include investigating financial statements and other documents for evidence of fraud, embezzlement, or other misconduct.



Forensic accounting is a specialised field that uses specific skills and knowledge to help solve problems. Forensic accountants can help in situations where there has been financial fraud or other illegal activities that have affected businesses, individuals or organisations.

If you need help with your financial and legal needs, contact Wilford Smith today. We'll be happy to help you with any questions or concerns that you may have.

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