The importance of forensic accounting has been increasing in recent years.

Many companies have in-house accountants to monitor and minimize irregularities or complications that may arise throughout regular business operations. However, sophisticated fraudulent activities are becoming increasingly common. Forensic accounts have more extraordinary skills than an in-house accountant in finding evidence of cleverly masked fraudulent and IRS criminal activities.

Hiring an experienced forensic accountant is critical. Below is a guideline to help you help your clients.

1.  There is a difference between an account and a forensic accountant.
If your client is under criminal investigation by the IRS, their accountant has a conflict of interest due to the fact that they may be called as a government witness. However, a professional forensics accountant has no conflict. Sage Investigations would be able to represent your client without conflict.

2.  There is a difference between a forensic accountant and a prior IRS Special Agent Forensic Accountant.
The forensic accountant can perform financial analysis, understands accounting procedures, and has limited experience in testifying in criminal matters. Where a prior IRS Special Agent forensic accountant understands accounting procedures, performs a financial analysis more effectively and efficiently, knows the ins and outs of the IRS, can usually predict the IRS’s next move, and has extensive experience testifying in court. Sage Investigations has 50 plus years of combined IRS Special Agent experience and 25 years of private sector investigative experience to help your client prevail.

3.  The professional forensic accountant can look into elements of fraud and determine damages for business owners.
Unlike regular accountants who are not trained to find evidence, forensic accountants look for fraudulent activities and theft within a company for civil and criminal cases. The forensic accountant helps prepare the evidence for the attorney and to be forwarded to the County District Attorney or the US Attorney’s office. Many County Attorneys no longer have the staff to prepare cases for presentation to a Grand Jury. The Sage forensic accountant has testified in the grand jury, given depositions, and has trial experience in state and federal courts. We have 50 plus years of combined IRS Special Agent experience and 25 years of private sector investigative experience to help your client prevail.

4.  A professional forensic accountant has experience in handling confrontational interviews.
Not all interviews are the same. Therefore special skills and training are needed to handle confrontational interviews. Only the professional forensic accountant with these particular skills, years of training, and experience can conduct the confrontational interview and deliver the information needed. Sage Investigations has the experience and training and has delivered hundreds of these interviews.

5.  A professional forensic accountant has skills, knowledge, education, experience, and training.
Ask for a resumé or curriculum vitae. If the forensic accountant can’t produce one, you may have a clue about the quality of services that a forensic accountant will provide. You can find the curriculum vitae of our team on our website at

6.  Not all forensic accountants are discreet and professional
You need one who is. A forensic accountant that brags to you about other businesses and business cases may brag to others about your case. Professional discretion is essential, and you should beware of a forensic accountant that compromises anyone’s confidentiality. Sage Investigations maintains a need-to-know posture relating to their clients.

7.  Is the forensic accountant articulate and proficient with writing skills?
Business professionals have superior speaking and writing skills. If a forensic accountant does not have exceptional speaking and writing skills, what does it say about the forensic accountant that does not seek self-improvement? Do you want someone barely literate working for you that may have to testify later? The team at Sage Investigations has superior speaking and writing skills.

8.  Forensic accountants vary in their ability with and access to technology.
Ask about the forensic accountant’s equipment while working on your case. Some forensic accountants still rely on old technology. Is that how you want your client represented in court? How will that reflect on your client’s image or brand? Sage Investigations utilizes up-to-date technology, and we have developed our own proprietary software, DIO, that enables us to analyze complex financial data quickly, easily, and efficiently.

9.  Not all forensic accounts maintain their professional skills.
If the forensic accountant has been in the business for a few years, you may want to ask about any training the forensic accountant completed during that time. If they are members of professional organizations, they are likely to have attended conferences and seminars that taught such things as report writing, interviewing skills, and trial and deposition testimony. Many professional organizations’ websites let you look up members by name. Someone that does not stay current in the forensic accounting profession may be a high liability for you and your client. Sage Investigations maintains training through membership in many organizations.

10. Professionals require contracts.

Would you enter into a business agreement without a contract? The contract protects both parties. What does it say about a forensic accountant that ignores such protection? Sage Investigations requires a contract to be responsive to our client’s needs and ensure the relationships stay intact.

If your law firm requires a skilled, experienced, and professional forensic accountant to help your clients prevail, contact Chief Investigator Edmond Martin of Sage Investigations, LLC at 512-659-3179 or email him at We offer a free 20-minute consult. Visit our website at www.Sageinvestigations.ComClick to read about our team and their CVs.