What should I consider when retaining a Forensic Accountant?

The following issues should be considered on retaining a Forensic Accountant:

  • The experience and qualifications of the Forensic Accountant;
  • A Forensic Accountant should be retained as early as possible in order to obtain maximum benefit. The assistance that a Forensic Accountant can provide early in the process can be significant in reducing the overall cost and maximizing the benefit. If retained early, a Forensic Accountant can assist with the Examination for Discovery, identify additional areas of damages, assist with settlement negotiations and provide a preliminary assessment of the quantum of damages;
  • If a Forensic Accountant is engaged as an expert witness then he or she should be given access to all of the relevant documentation. If restrictions are imposed upon the scope of the investigation there may be an impact upon the acceptance of the findings; and
  • In situations where counsel is involved, the Forensic Accountant should be retained by counsel so that the privilege which exists between the client and counsel will be extended to the work product of the Forensic Accountant.

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