Forensic Accounting & Litigation Counsulting
Forensic accounting is the application of accounting principles and theory to litigation matters. These types of engagements can encompass a wide variety of services from investigative accounting to expert witness testimony. Experience and training in the field of accounting provide the necessary foundation to plan and execute a forensic accounting engagement. Similar to putting together a puzzle with the pieces turned upside down, the forensic accountant starts without a clear picture of the case, and needs to gather, analyze and interpret the evidence so that he or she can reach a conclusion. The knowledge base and skill set of a forensic accountant makes him or her valuable in providing litigation support services as well.
Litigation support services involve providing services to attorneys in pre-litigation and litigation matters. The forensic accountant can be hired as either a consulting expert or a testifying expert. A consulting expert is usually covered by the attorney’s work product doctrine and any work done is not subject to discovery. The advantage of hiring a consultant is that the consultant will work as an advocate for the client and is available to assist with strategy. As a testifying expert, the forensic accountant is hired to provide an independent opinion with regard to damages for the purpose of assisting the trier of fact. The work of a testifying expert is frequently subject to discovery.
Services can be limited to a single task, or can be more comprehensive. Based on the nature of the case, whether the forensic accountant will be testifying and the budget, services can include
- Preliminary evaluation of the case by identifying damages for the complaint and identifying injured parties.
- Review of opposing party’s work product as a consultant or an expert. A consultant can provide counsel strategic weaknesses and attacks. As an expert, the forensic accountant can give rebuttal testimony to the report.
- Other experts are occasionally necessary to provide foundational testimony to support the damage aspect of the case. The testifying expert may assist in identifying areas that require outside expertise.
- Aiding in discovery by identifying specific documents to be requested. Additionally, the forensic accountant can suggest questions for interrogatories or deposition to gather evidence necessary to support the case.
- Document management by indexing and tracking production.
- Identifying and evaluating alternatives for settlement.
- Taking part in depositions by assist counsel in understanding the issues pertinent to the damage case.
- Preliminary calculations for settlement purposes.
- Reviewing case law for economic impact.
- Providing demonstrative exhibits.
- Providing expert testimony regarding damages.
If you have questions about forensic accounting, call Yip Associates at 954.966.7465 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.