How much does a forensic accounting report cost?

21 July 2021 by Paul Croft

The costs associated with preparing a forensic accounting report can diverge significantly, driven by a range of factors, including the nature and complexity of the litigation, the scope of the questions being asked (influencing the number of hours required), and the provider’s hourly rates.

In certain matters, such as quantifying business interruption losses, pro forma template reports and excel models can be used effectively to keep a lid on costs. This is largely because the approach to quantifying such losses is generally quite prescriptive, which allows better leverage of the lower hourly rates of more junior staff.

However, the circumstances of every matter are different and as the complexity of a matter increases, so too does the necessary level of involvement by more senior staff to ensure the robustness and quality of the opinions given. 

At BRI Ferrier, our Director rates reflect complete attention and involvement by the forensic specialists responsible for signing the report, rather than an overview/sign‐off model. Given the level of complexity and often time-pressured nature of these forensic accounting assignments, the Directors are intricately involved to develop a robust report. We do, however, seek to leverage the more junior staff where possible to deliver cost-efficient reports.

For non-family law matters:

  • At that date of publishing, average industry hourly rates typically range from about $250 (for junior staff) to $650 (for senior staff) (excluding GST), and
  • On average, it generally takes between 70 and 100 hours to complete the first draft of an expert report.

Based on the ranges above (which reflect varying levels of job complexity and ratios of junior/senior staff involvement), a forensic report might cost on average between $30,000 and $50,000 (excluding GST).

Preparing supplementary reports, attending joint expert conferences, and attending Court to give evidence will increase the overall costs, which will be charged at Director rates reflecting the seniority of the person signing the report and responsible for giving evidence.

Need advice?

Early forensic accounting input may assist in developing the best legal strategy. We may be able to give a broad overview of the main issues after a brief review of available financials and an outline of the background to the matter. We aim to help, so please feel free to contact one of our experts.

Paul Croft Jacqueline Woods
Paul Croft
Director, Forensic Accounting

M: +61 (0)418 411 299
T: +61 (0)2 8263 2320
Jacqueline Woods
Director, Forensic Accounting

M: +61 (0)417 472 668
T: +61 (0)2 8263 2357