What would be a typical approach to a Forensic Accounting assignment?

Each forensic accounting assignment is unique. Accordingly, the actual approach adopted and the procedures performed will be specific to it. However, in general, many Forensic Accounting assignments will include the steps detailed below.

Meet with the client

It is helpful to meet with the client to obtain an understanding of the important facts, players and issues at hand.

Perform a conflict check

A conflict check should be carried out as soon as the relevant parties are established.

Perform an initial investigation

It is often useful to carry out a preliminary investigation prior to the development of a detailed plan of action. This will allow subsequent planning to be based upon a more complete understanding of the issues.


Develop an Action Plan


This plan will take into account the knowledge gained by meeting with the client and carrying out the initial investigation and will set out the objectives to be achieved and the methodology to be utilized to accomplish them.


Obtain the relevant evidence


Depending on the nature of the case this may involve locating documents, economic information, assets, a person or company, another expert or proof of the occurrence of an event.


Perform the analysis


The actual analysis performed will be dependent upon the nature of the assignment and may involve:


  • Calculating economic damages;
  • Summarizing a large number of transactions;
  • Performing a tracing of assets;
  • Performing present value calculations utilizing appropriate discount rates;
  • Performing a regression or sensitivity analysis;
  • Utilizing a computerized application such as a spread sheet, data base or computer model; and
  • Utilizing charts and graphics to explain the analysis.

Prepare the report


Often a report will be prepared which may include sections on the nature of the assignment, scope of the investigation, approach utilized, limitations of scope and findings and/or opinions. The report will include schedules and graphics necessary to properly support and explain the findings.

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