Our Forensic Accounting Services


Forensic Accounting Reporting

The outcome of the work we do is inevitably a report which sets out the results of the work we have been instructed to carry out together with our findings and, where required, our recommendations.

Expert Witness

Sometimes, we may also be required to give evidence as an expert witness either before a tribunal, committee, or in a court of law.

Instruction

We are instructed by individuals and organisations to carry out financial investigations in a range of situations some of which can be predicted (such as share valuations, for example) and others which would previously have been unimaginable.

But our approach to each assignment is exactly the same. Put simply:

  • we establish as quickly as possible what is required of us, and how we can comply with our instructions;
  • we review the information available to us and obtain (and sometimes have to create or re-create all other relevant information we require); and
  • we produce a clear and concise report on our findings, with an opinion or recommendations if required.

Establishing Cause and Effect

Whereas accountancy is often concerned with the financial aspects of a transaction, forensic accounting is often more interested in establishing the events that caused the numbers to become what they are. For instance, if a business has suffered a downturn in its fortunes, is that due to external factors, such as the loss of a key customer or contract, or is it due to theft of funds by a senior manager? The role of the forensic accountant in that instance would be to identify the causes of the downturn by investigating the business’s operating procedures and obtaining explanations for changes in the numbers.

Creative Thinking

Forensic accountants often have to make it up as they go along! Experience shows that, whilst it might be envisaged at the outset what key evidence might be required for an assignment, rarely is all of that information available. If one imagines that the forensic accountant’s role is to build a jigsaw of the picture that will explain what has happened, then some of those pieces will already be available, some will be missing, but might be able to be re-created, and others (perhaps the most important ones) will never be found, in which case educated guesses will have to be made about what those pieces might look like and how the picture will look with them. This is where a forensic accountant’s opinion comes to the fore.

Seeing the whole picture

From a practical point of view, the most benefit which can be derived from using a forensic accountant is if they are appointed as early as possible in the proceedings. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In some instances, we have been appointed to prepare a report only a matter of days before a trial is to be heard at Court and this clearly limits the amount of time available to us in which to carry out an investigation and obtain relevant evidence. Ideally, we should be approached as soon as the likelihood arises that some form of financial investigation may be required. This is because it gives us an opportunity to assess how and whether we can help, how we might help, and what information we would need in order to provide that assistance.

Forensic Accounting Fees

In that regard, our fees are usually charged on an hourly basis for the time spent on an assignment, together with reasonable disbursements but, in some circumstances, we can work to a fixed fee. We also provide an initial meeting or review of case papers free of charge in order to enable us to give an indication of how we might help and the likely costs involved.

For more information, or to arrange an initial meeting to discuss a specific issue, please contact us.