Functions and Duties of Forensic Accountants

This article about the functions and duties of forensic accountants is in response to the question asked by one of the readers of Accountant-Next-Door after I wrote on how accounting cycle can help in forensic accounting.

I have written two separate articles on the skills of a forensic accountant and how to become a forensic accountant. In those articles, I did justice to preambles and introduction to the subject matter hence, will go straight to discussing the functions and duties of forensic accountants in this article.

functions and duties of forensic accountantsI will use as few words as possible to explain the functions and duties of forensic accountants. I apologise in advance for the brevity of this article.

Roles, Functions and Duties of forensic accountants

  • Expert witness

Forensic accountants are one of the very few finance professionals that can act as expert witnesses especially in matters that involves figure. To be able to act as an expert witness, one need to understand the rudiments of gathering and handling evidence in such a way that its credibility is not questioned in the court of law.

  • Investigation of fraudulent activities

Forensic accountants are called in whenever there is suspicion of fraud in an organizational setting.

  • Determining if fraud actually occurred

Most times, business managers and owners raise false alarm regarding the occurrence of fraud. Forensic accountants are called in to determine if fraud actually took place or not.

  • To identify perpetrators of fraud

Forensic accountants use their finance and investigative skill to help identify perpetrators of fraud

  • Gathering financial evidence

Without evidence, one cannot really pin a fraudster to an act. Financial evidences in the right quantity and dosage has to be provided and this usually where forensic accountants come handy.

  • Educating stakeholders

Education is and will always be the best way of preventing, deterring and detecting fraud

  • Quantification of stake

It is always good to know the financial implication of any fraudulent activity. A forensic accountant will help put figures to the activities.

  • Establishing sharable profits during partnership dissolution

Dissolution of partnerships usually doesn’t end in good faith thereby requiring that a third party comes in to determine who gets what. This process of sharing things in a dissolving partnership starts from firstly determine the monetary value of things.

  • Settling matrimonial or business closure disputes

Similar to the dissolution of partnerships, ending marital unions can sometimes cause some rancour that requires a forensic expert who specialises in accounting and finance to help put numbers to assets.

  • Insurance claims dispute resolution

Forensic accountants are often called in to provide information that will help settle insurance claim.

  • Interviewing suspects

Forensic accountants are trained to interview suspects of financial misappropriations. Not everyone have the interviewing skills that is needed to handle certain sensitive cases.

Stages involved in forensic investigation

  • Planning stage
  • Evidence gathering stage
  • Review stage
  • Report writing stage

I hope this short article on the functions and duties of forensic accountants have been informative and answers any question that you may have. If you need me to clarify anything else plese do d

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