Forensic Accounting is a specialist area of practice within the field of accounting.
It is a wide ranging field of expertise dealing with any engagements that result from actual or anticipated disputes. Often these disputes will result in court action and Forensic Accountants may have to give expert evidence and present reports to support a point of view.
Whilst many firms, Police and Government agencies have Forensic Accounting departments these are becoming increasingly segmented into further sub-specialisations.
Forensic Accountants must understand economic theories, business information, financial reporting systems, accounting and auditing standards and procedures, data management and electronic discovery, data analysis techniques for fraud detection, evidence gathering and investigative techniques, and litigation processes and procedures to perform their work.
They are also playing an increasingly proactive role in risk reduction by designing and performing extended procedures a part of the statutory audit, advising audit committees and assisting in investment analyst research.
Whilst Forensic Accountants usually do not provide opinions, the work performed and reports issued will often provide answers to the how, where, what, why and who.