Forensic Accountant role – Melbourne
What Does a Forensic Accountant Do?
A forensic accountant sees the oft-neglected overlap between law and finance, and translates this connection into clear and meaningful advice or assistance for their client.
This advice and/or assistance manifests itself in a number of manners including, but certainly not limited to:
Lawyer support (litigation support) – are regularly retained by lawyers. Rather than simply considering a typical accountant, even one that specializes in the financial issue at dispute, a lawyer will go to a forensic accountant for their ability to translate financial data into information relevant to the courtroom.
Corporate Investigation – A corporate entity will often retain a forensic accountant for the purpose of an internal investigation into, for example, embezzlement. Whilst a typical accountant could easily be retained to consider financial reports and files they don’t specialise in the investigation of dubious financial indicators.
Calculation of Damages – After a case has been tried, a forensic accountant may be retained to advise on the degree and nature of just and appropriate damages. Whilst an arbitrator might be valuable in their judgment of what is fair, they usually do not have the relevant depth of financial knowledge to apply this fair judgment to damages calculation. A typical accountant may have knowledge of finance and accounts, but this knowledge might not extend to the application of a fair legal outcome.
The “Middle Section”
A helpful way to think of the forensic accountant’s role is to picture a ven diagram, in which two separate circles overlap to create a middle section – these two circles are ‘Law’ and ‘Finance’. A client facing a financial-legal dispute may wish to hire a lawyer and a typical accountant to deal respectively with the ‘Law’ and ‘Finance’ circles, but a lawyer and an accountant might miss the crucial overlap between their two fields – the “middle section” – a lawyer will simply consider the law, and an accountant will consider finance. This is where the forensic accountant comes in, they sit within the crucial overlap between law and finance, at the intersection between these two fields, constantly bringing them together and translating them into each other. In this way, they may see what those in other vocations cannot, allowing them to investigate and discover key gaps or data points in present or pending litigation.
The forensic accountant’s unique ability to investigate the intersection between finance and law is one of the primary reasons for their regular employment, and is certainly essential to bear in mind when considering whether to retain one.
As professional investigators, forensic accountants have honed skills in recognizing suspicious financial data points or gaps in information. This is not solely accounted for by their in-depth knowledge of finance and accounts, but can be attributed to a skill set that necessarily develops from their familiarity with dubious financial undertakings. Often, the forensic accountant’s investigate ability becomes almost intuitive in its accuracy and recognition.
When approaching an investigation, though, forensic accountants do have more to rely on than their experience and familiarity with these financial ecosystems. They are also adept at using software and complex electronic networks that allow them to efficiently discover pieces of information relevant to the requirements any given case or retainer.
Contact Kingston & Knights today for Melbourne’s most trusted and professional Forensic Accountant, Litigation Support Accountant and Investigative Accountant on (03) 9863 9779 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.