Sunday, April 10, 2016

Forensic Accounting in Seattle, WA

A Forensic Accountant is often retained to analyze, interpret, summarize and present complex financial and business related issues in a manner which is both understandable and properly supported.

Forensic Accountants can work in private practice or be employed by insurance companies, private investigation firms, banks, law enforcement agencies and other government agencies.

A Forensic Accountant is often involved in the following:
  • Investigating and analyzing financial evidence
  • Developing computerized applications to assist in the analysis and presentation of financial evidence
  • Communicating their findings in the form of reports, exhibits and collections of documents
  • Assisting in legal proceedings, including testifying in court as an expert witness and preparing visual aids to support trial evidence
To properly perform these services, a Forensic Accountant must be familiar with legal concepts and procedures. In addition, a Forensic Accountant must be able to identify substance over form when dealing with an issue.

How can a Forensic Accountant be of assistance?

A Forensic Accountant can be of assistance in various ways, including:

Investigative Accounting
  • Review of the factual situation and provision of suggestions regarding possible courses of action
  • Assistance with the protection and recovery of assets
  • Coordination of other experts, including:
    • Private investigators
    • Forensic document examiners
    • Consulting engineers
  • Assistance with the recovery of assets by way of civil action or criminal prosecution

Litigation Support
  • Assistance in obtaining documentation necessary to support or refute a claim
  • Review of the relevant documentation to form an initial assessment of the case and identify areas of loss
  • Assistance with Examination for Discovery including the formulation of questions to be asked regarding the financial evidence
  • Attendance at the Examination for Discovery to review the testimony, assist with understanding the financial issues and to formulate additional questions to be asked
  • Review of the opposing expert's damages report and reporting on both the strengths and weaknesses of the positions taken
  • Assistance with settlement discussions and negotiations
  • Attendance at trial to hear the testimony of the opposing expert and to provide assistance with cross-examination

Forensic Accountants are often retained for:

Criminal Investigations

Forensic investigations often relate to criminal investigations.

Shareholder & Partnership Dispute

These assignments often involve a detailed analysis of numerous years accounting records to quantify the issues in dispute. For example, a common issue that often arises is the compensation and benefits received by each of the disputing shareholders or partners.

Personal Injury Claim & Motor Vehicle Accident

A Forensic Accountant is often asked to quantify the economic losses resulting from a motor vehicle accident. A Forensic Accountant is familiar with legislation in place that pertains to motor vehicle accidents.

Cases of medical malpractice often involve similar issues in calculating resulting economic damages.

Business Interruption & Insurance Claim

Insurance policies differ significantly as to their terms and conditions. Accordingly, these assignments involve a detailed review of the policy to investigate coverage issues and the appropriate method of calculating the loss.

A Forensic Accountant is often asked to assist from either an insured or insurer's perspective in the settlement of a case.

Examples of these types of assignments include: business interruptions, property losses and employee dishonesty (fidelity) claims.

Business & Employee Fraud Investigation

Business investigations can involve funds tracing, asset identification and recovery, forensic intelligence gathering and due diligence reviews.

Employee fraud investigations often involve procedures to determine the existence, nature and extent of fraud, and may concern the identification of a perpetrator. These investigations often entail interviews of personnel who had access to the funds and a detailed review of the documentary evidence.

Matrimonial Dispute

Matrimonial disputes from a Forensic Accounting point-of-view often involve the tracing, locating and evaluation of assets. The assets to be evaluated and valued may be businesses, property, or other assets.

Business Economic Loss

Examples of assignments involving business economic losses include: contract disputes, construction claims, expropriations, product liability claims, trademark and patent infringements, and losses stemming from a breach of a non-competition agreement.

Professional Negligence

These investigations are often approached from two different but complimentary perspectives, these being:
  • Technical -- has a breach of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or Generally Accepted Auditing Standards or other standards of practice occurred, and
  • Loss Quantification

Often a report will be prepared which may include sections on the nature of the assignment, scope of the investigation, approach utilized, limitations of scope and findings and opinions. The report will normally include schedules and graphics necessary to properly support and explain the findings.

Brian Blackwell Investigations | Seattle, Washington

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