What is forensic accounting?

19 June 2021 by Jacqueline Woods

In plain English, the term “forensic” means ”relating to court”. As such, the term “forensic” is regularly applied to multiple professional disciplines such as forensic accountants, forensic psychologists, or forensic crime scene investigators. As forensic specialists, we apply the investigation skills associated with our chosen field to help the Courts resolve legal disputes and crimes.

As forensic accountants, we typically apply our skills, experience, and expertise in a litigation context involving questions of an accounting, financial or commercial nature. Typically, many people associate forensic accountants with solving crimes involving fraud and embezzlement; however, investigating white-collar crime is just one component of the broad suite of services offered by forensic accountants.

Most often, forensic accountants are engaged to quantify the damage or loss suffered because of the actions of another party. In broad terms, this includes litigation involving personal injury, and commercial matters including business interruption, business valuation, insolvent trading, breaches of contract, directors’ duties and trust, and misleading and deceptive conduct. Forensic accountants may also be engaged to assist in the investigation of illegal or unethical behaviour such as fraud and other white-collar crimes.

In certain legal proceedings, such as family law disputes, disputes between business partners, and shareholder oppression, the forensic accountant may be required to provide an opinion on the value of a business, or the value of the equity, trust or partnership held by certain parties in the legal proceedings.

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 experts.

Jacqueline Woods
Jacqueline Woods
Director, Forensic Accounting

E: jwoods@brifnsw.com.au
M: +61 (0)417 472 668
T: +61 (0)2 8263 2357