There’s been much in the news about forensic procedures ranging from police work to voting machines. A lot of misconceptions surround forensics in the field of accounting. A forensic accountant is a certified public accountant (CPA) who looks for evidence of a crime.
Forensic accountants typically work for financial firms, insurance companies, government entities, a wide range of law enforcement agencies, and even consulting companies. CPAs earn certified fraud examiner (CFE) credentials to be a forensic accountant.
The professionals often collaborate with other investigative teams, primarily to identify where a crime has been committed. The legendary criminal, Al Capone, is an example of someone who was taken down for tax evasion by forensic accountants in conjunction with law enforcement.
A forensic accountant has advanced skills in data analysis and is knowledgeable in the many ways that fraud can be hidden. They’re also highly experienced with the myriad of schemes criminals use.
What They Do
Forensic accountants perform a variety of highly-regarded and valuable tasks. They trace and conduct research into where funds and assets are going – known colloquially as “follow the money.” They prepare in-depth reports of their findings and may testify in court about the data when required. They typically work on white collar crime cases that include the following areas.
- Money laundering
- Insurance fraud
- Securities fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Locating hidden assets
- Computer applications
- Telemarketing fraud
- Legal system procedures
- Misappropriation of assets
- Violations of generally accepted accounting practices (GAAP) or generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS)
Fraud is a crime that never takes a vacation, with new schemes and variations occurring every day. It’s significantly increased the demand for forensic accountants and created new and expanding opportunities in the field. Fraud is a crime that individuals take great lengths to hide and for which forensic accountants are uniquely qualified to ferret out.
At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs. We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today (843) 347-0849 and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!