There is a difference between an accountant and a forensic accountant.
Forensic accounting, sometimes called investigative accounting, is the application of accounting concepts and techniques to legal problems. Forensic accountants investigate and document financial fraud and white-collar crimes such as embezzlement and other occupational fraud. They also analyze complex financial transactions and estimate losses and damages. [Source: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Forensic+Accounting]
Forensic Accountants also provide litigation support to attorneys investigating financial wrongdoing from the view of the Plaintiff or Defendant. They provide a critical view of complex financial transactions, including books and records that have been in existence, and are relied upon by others to make decisions that could result in damages.
If your client is under criminal investigation with the IRS, the client’s accountant has a conflict of interest due to the fact that they may be called as a government witness. However, a professional forensics accountant such as Sage Investigations has no conflict, and will be able to represent your client without conflict.
There is a difference between a forensic accountant and a prior IRS special agent forensic accountant.
The forensic accountant can perform financial analysis and understands accounting procedures. However, he/she has limited experience when it comes to testifying in criminal matters. Whereas, a retired IRS Special Agent, forensic accountant, understands accounting procedures, performs financial analyses more effectively and efficiently, understands the IRS procedures, can usually predict the next move of the IRS, and has extensive experience testifying in court. Sage Investigations has over 25 years IRS experience to help your client prevail.
A professional forensic accountant has experience in handling confrontational interviews.
Not all interviews are the same, therefore special skills and training is needed to handle confrontational interviews. It is only the professional forensic accountant that has these special skills and years of training and experience to handle the confrontational interview and deliver the information needed. Sage Investigations has the experience, and the training, and has delivered hundreds of these of interviews.
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 forensic accountant will provide. Please ask Sage Investigations for the curriculum vitae of anyone on their team or visit https://www.sageinvestigations.com/about-us/our-team/.
Not all forensic accountants are discreet and professional.
You need a forensic accountant who is. A forensic accountant that brags to you about other businesses and cases may brag to others about your business and 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.
Is the forensic accountant articulate and have proficient writing skills?
Business professionals have superior speaking and writing skills. If a forensic accountant does not have superior 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.
Forensic accountants vary in their ability with and access to technology.
Ask about the equipment the forensic accountant will use while working on your case. Some forensic accountants still rely on old technology. Is that how you want your firm or company represented in court? How will that reflect on your image or brand? Sage Investigations not only utilizes up to date technology, they have also developed their own software DIO, that that enables them to analyse complex financial data quickly, easily and efficiently.
Not all forensic accountants 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 they 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. Sage Investigations maintains training through membership in many organizations, including the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners in Austin, TX.
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 identify the scope of the engagement, the needs of the client and ensure relationships stay intact.
This article is a follow up to the January 2018 article “Important Considerations When Hiring a Forensic Accountant” and May 2018 “Embezzlement: A Tale of Two Victims.”
If your law suit requires financial investigative expertise as a consulting expert or a testifying expert witness contact Chief Investigator Edmond Martin of Sage Investigations, LLC at 512-659-3179 for a free 20 minute consult, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our new website at www.Sageinvestigations.Com.