What Is Forensic Accounting? - Video
Forensic Accounting is a specialized form of accounting that incorporates accounting, auditing and investigative techniques. Forensic Accounting professionals are charged with analyzing and tracking evidence of economic transactions. In some cases, they are asked to present this evidence to a court of law.
Forensic Accounting Overview
People who work in Forensic Accounting are accountants with investigative skills. Most Forensic Accounting professionals specialize in either investigation or litigation support.
There are many private companies that depend on investigation specialists to analyze financial documents and check for evidence of embezzlement or fraud. Government agencies, such as the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service, also hire Forensic Accounting professionals to uncover evidence of identity theft, money laundering and tax evasion.
Accounting professionals who specialize in litigation support use investigative techniques as well, but have slightly different responsibilities. They are often asked to develop computerized applications that assist in analysis. Litigation specialists also communicate their findings to other people. It is not unusual for these Forensic Accounting professionals to present evidence or act as expert witnesses in both civil and criminal trials.
Careers in Forensic Accounting
Most of the students who study Forensic Accounting work as forensic accountants in a public practice or accounting firm. Job opportunities are also available with banks, police forces and government agencies, such as the IRS, FBI or CIA. Regardless of employer, most forensic accountants spend their time assisting in tax investigations, completing economic crime investigations, lending support in civil litigation and investigating mergers and acquisitions. Other job duties include performing special audits and evaluating risk loss.