Forensic Accountants can uncover deceptive ledger entries.

According to the FBI, business fraud consists of dishonest and illegal activities perpetrated by individuals or companies to provide an advantageous financial outcome to those persons or establishments. These schemes often appear under the guise of legitimate business practices.

Why a Forensic Accountant?

It is the job of a forensic accountant to discover fraud by using their knowledge, skills, and experience. A forensic accountant will review various financial documents and internal control processes to identify unusual transactions and discrepancies. They will then use the information they discover to provide an analysis that may be relied upon by third parties.

A good forensic accountant should have a strong knowledge of accounting and financial analysis, integrity, and maintain professional skepticism when investigating. So always make sure you select an expert with a solid accounting foundation, investigative skills, and communication skills.
There are many areas in which a forensic accountant can work other than fraud, such as business valuation, contract disputes, embezzlement, bankruptcies, divorce hearings, and IRS matters.

Common Theft

A pervasive situation is when there is an employee embezzling company funds. A person that is stealing money can be a (formerly) trusted individual at their position of authority, making it harder to uncover the fraudulent activity. A forensic accountant can look through financial records and find unusual or unauthorized transactions and give the company evidence of these actions. The forensic accountant can also appear in court as an expert witness.

Another common situation involves a business valuation and verification of stated value. A forensic accountant can use financial documents and analysis to determine the actual value of the business that is unbiased.

At Wilke & Associates, LLP, we have experienced CPAs who have used forensic accounting to resolve financial disputes and have provided testimony in court as an expert witness. Reach out to us if you feel we can offer any assistance.

Written by Amanda Lynch, CPA

Amanda is a general ledger manager and business advisor at Wilke & Associates. She currently serves closely-held businesses using her prior experience as a corporate accounting manager in the manufacturing industry and previous audit experience in various industries, including manufacturing & distribution, logistics, real estate, and pension plans.