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"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." – MARCIE D. BOUR, PRESIDENT

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.

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.
  • Identifying other experts is occasionally necessary to provide foundational testimony to support the damage aspect of the case.
  • 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 561-325-6959 or email mbour@yipcpa.com for more information.