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Hot Career – Forensic Accounting

Posted on November 28, 2019 in Uncategorized

With the increase in white collar crimes in securities fraud, banking and investment misappropriations, comes the increase demand for forensic accountants with strong knowledge of accounting procedures and financial experience coupled with strong analytic and investigative skills. According to U.S. World and News Report, forensic accounting is one of the most secured job opportunities for the future.

Forensic Accountants work in major accounting firms. Their skills and expertise are in high demand for investigating on mergers and acquisitions, tax investigations, economic crime investigations, civil litigation support, specialized audits, and terrorist investigations. Forensic Accountants work throughout the business world, in public accounting, and in government agencies such as FBI, Internal revenue, Local Law enforcement and others.

Opportunities for qualified forensic accounting professionals are abound in private companies, particularly with the essential need of the Sarbanes-Oxley act (SOX). Publicly held companies are inviting those with these skills and knowledge as a part of their strong internal control team, to comply with governmental and market demands for accurate reporting. Beyond SOX, forensic accountants help prevent and detect misuse of company resources in private companies.

Recent major corporate scandals have encouraged business owners to turn to Forensic Accountants for more proactive fraud audits and prevention. The frauds which these professionals are looking for is usually one of these two general types: financial statement fraud or theft of assets. To uncover financial statement fraud, detail analyzations are carried out on the financial statements by using ratio analysis and data-mining techniques such as Benford’s Law. Other procedures performed include inspection of documents and records and conduct interviews with witnesses and suspects.

Divorce attorneys may call on forensic accountants to evaluate whether assets are being understated or liabilities are overstated. In addition, forensic accountants may be asked to determine the amount of the loss sustained by victims, testify in court as an expert witness and assist in the preparation of visual aids and written summaries for use in court. To be successful, these accountants needs knowledge of fraud schemes, investigation techniques, and the law to fulfill the expectations of his or her client or employer.

This profession can earn anything from $35,000 to $60,000 a year in an entry-level position. With experience, forensic accountants could fetch an annual salary of six figures. Forensic Accounting is one of the most interesting professions currently. It’s very challenging and at the same time exciting to work with prosecutors and attorneys in court cases. Forensic Accounting opens the door for you to become a high-end forensic detective.

How Forensic Accounting Can Help Your Business Prevent Fraud

Posted on November 26, 2019 in Uncategorized

Fraud is a concern for any business which employs employees, accountants or other hired professionals which have access to the business’ income receipt or funds. Essentially, all businesses are at risk of fraud to some degree. Fraud is most commonly committed in the form of embezzlement or skimming, acts which can be difficult to detect, even in small business settings.

What is Forensic Accounting, and What is a Forensic Audit?

Forensic accounting is a financial service which concentrates on identifying or preventing fraud in business settings; forensic audits performed by forensic accountants focus on identifying ways in which a business is vulnerable to fraud or identifying fraud which is being committed. Professionals who are qualified to perform forensic audits gather concrete evidence which is admissible in a court of law.

Common Aspects of Fraud

Embezzlement is the most common form of fraud in business settings. People who commit embezzlement typically do so systematically, in small amounts to avoid detection. Without the help of a forensic audit, embezzlement can often continue over a long period of time, adding up to significant financial losses for the company against which fraud is being committed. If tried, civil fraud cases (cases in which the victim is an individual, not the public) are often settled out of court, meaning that the person who committed fraud is able to walk free and commit fraud again.

When a forensic accountant performs a forensic audit, he or she investigates the business’ financial records in search of patterns which could indicate skimming or embezzlement. Forensic accountants also perform thorough background checks of employees, since people who commit fraud often have a history of doing so.

Detecting Fraud through Forensic Auditing

Forensic audits involve a very detailed, thorough investigation of every aspect of a business’ financial activities and history, a process which may involve detective work.

Take, for example, a restaurant owner who suspects that one of his waiters is skimming cash from his or her tables. In order to take action against the employee, however, the business owner requires proof. A forensic accountant might begin by hiring trained professionals to dine at the establishment in order to observe the employee in question take orders, place orders at the kitchen, deliver food and complete sales at the cash register. The professional might find that the employee completed credit card transactions normally, but voided the sale whenever dinner was paid in cash, pocketing the cash.

By itemizing all voided receipts, the forensic accountant could determine exactly how much money the employee was skimming, providing the restaurant owner with the evidence needed to press charges.

Forensic Auditing and Fraud Prevention

Forensic audits are not only used for detecting fraud; a forensic accountant may also investigate a company to find any areas in which the company may be vulnerable to fraud. By identifying these areas with a thorough forensic audit, companies can take action to prevent fraud by following recommendations such as using video camera monitoring, increasing management involvement, segregating duties or performing random spot audits.

Forensic Accountants – How to Choose the Right Forensic Accountant

Posted on November 25, 2019 in Uncategorized

Forensic Accountants are accounting professionals that specialize in calculating insurance claims. Customarily, they work on the side of insurance companies. When the insurance company retains them, their task is to calculate the claim with an eye toward minimizing the claim amount. After all, who is paying their fees?

You may be a business that has suffered a disaster or significant insured loss. In these types of losses, business owners typically have Business Interruption and Extra Expense coverage in their Business Owners Policy. This covers the loss of income and extra expense incurred by the business when their business operations are interrupted by a covered loss.

The biggest challenge for a business owner after a loss is keeping the business operation alive and moving forward. The disruption of operations makes that job very difficult. Then, when you add on the responsibility of preparing, documenting and submitting an insurance claim, it can be overwhelming for the business owner. Remember that your job as claimant is to submit a very accurate claim that maximizes your recovery.

So, my recommendation is to make your life easier by surrounding yourself with claims experts that are working for YOU, not working for the insurance company. And that team of experts should include a forensic accountant.

I do not recommend using your in-house accountants or your everyday business accountant to calculate your claim. Although they will likely assist a forensic accountant with your financial data, they do not know the methods of calculating an insurance loss. That could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

To find a competent forensic accountant in your area;

1. Use your computer and search for “Forensic Accountant” and your city or zip code.
2. Contact some of the larger accounting firms in your area and ask them if they do forensic accounting. If they do not, ask for a referral to firms that do.
3. Contact the Certified Public Accountant Society in your area for a referral.

Once you’ve found forensic accountants in your area, call them and interview them with the following questions:

1. How many years have they done forensic accounting?
2. Ask for a list of satisfied customer with phone numbers for verification.
3. Ask about their fee schedule.
4. Ask to meet them to see if your personalities are a good fit.
5. Do you have any conflict of interest with my insurance company?

The fees incurred for a forensic accountant are usually considered covered expenses for claim preparation.

With this information, you should be able to retain the best accountant possible to calculate your business loss.