Forensic Accountant- Financial Investigations:
Forensic accountants typically carry out their investigations by adopting a multi-faceted approach, involving everything from reviewing documents and conducting interviews to surveillance tasks.
These professionals can also be key to identifying those responsible for fraud and their motives, and bringing them to justice. On the other side, they can also be a powerful tool for defence lawyers proving that no wrongdoing has occurred.
Forensic accountants become involved in various kinds of investigation, including:
Quantification of losses
Quantifying losses is a key aspect of any claims process. It is the job of the forensic accountant to assess all losses, but initial and subsequent impacts can be hard to assess, which is why forensic accountancy is the work of skilled, qualified and experienced professionals. And, after all, any claims process is all about returning an organisation to where it would have been had the event sparking the investigation not occurred. This would not be possible without quantifying exactly what has been lost.
Asset tracing and recovery
Asset tracing is an effective way of finding, identifying and freezing stolen assets. The process can trace the full series of transactions from origins through to final destination. It is an important part of reclaiming what is yours and, again, it’s certainly not always a straightforward exercise, since assets can be placed somewhere that makes them very hard to find. They may even have been moved across borders. Above all, it’s vital to act swiftly in these matters.
Rapid fraud investigations
Here again, time is of the essence in these sensitive investigations, as is the quick deployment of expert assistance. Sometimes, phone and computer recovery is needed to access data that a regular user wouldn’t be able to see but a forensic accountant can. What’s more, fraud investigation can take many forms, from embezzlement to company director fraud, the false declaration of profits, and directors misleading shareholders. Each of these challenges needs to be met with the same level of skill and attention to detail.
Many organisations overlook the impact of internal fraud, but its impacts aren’t just limited to financial or reputational loss. The issue can absorb a great deal of senior management time, and have a damaging effect on trust and morale.
Contentious insolvency investigations
Unfortunately, many if not most business insolvency cases involve some level of dispute between shareholders and directors. But especially contentious cases can be particularly divisive, and may stem from serious issues such as wrongful trading or fraud. Equally, there can be serious consequences if directors are found to have breached their obligations or duties. Highly complex and again requiring superior attention to detail, these investigations are areas in which forensic accountants excel. And because the process is multi-disciplined, forensic accountants may well join forces with insolvency practitioners or others in these cases. But without their input, these investigations can be a minefield.
Corruption and bribery investigations
In these cases, again the prompt involvement of professionals is vital to protect the integrity of the evidence and ensuring that any actions taken won’t prejudice future civil or criminal action. Of course, corruption is something which can cause corporate brands and reputations untold damage and harm, while also having far-reaching economic consequences.
Forensic accountants can rapidly identify and mitigate the impact of any corrupt activity and any attempts to hide it, from one-off incidents involving one of just a few staff members to complex cases involving multiple parties. These accountants also have an in-depth knowledge of legislation such as the UK Bribery Act and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
Talk to us
At Hayes Forensics, we focus on providing high-quality global financial investigations. We can help with all the investigation types listed above, and relish the challenges even of complex cases which cross international borders. Plus we have access to innovative techniques combining state-of-the-art digital processing with skilled analogue insight.
Talk to us today about how we could help you to recover funds which may otherwise have been missed, as cost-effectively as possible.