With the increase in white collar crimes in securities fraud, banking and investment misappropriations, comes the increase demand for forensic accountants with strong knowledge of accounting procedures and financial experience coupled with strong analytic and investigative skills. According to U.S. World and News Report, forensic accounting is one of the most secured job opportunities for the future.
Forensic Accountants work in major accounting firms. Their skills and expertise are in high demand for investigating on mergers and acquisitions, tax investigations, economic crime investigations, civil litigation support, specialized audits, and terrorist investigations. Forensic Accountants work throughout the business world, in public accounting, and in government agencies such as FBI, Internal revenue, Local Law enforcement and others.
Opportunities for qualified forensic accounting professionals are abound in private companies, particularly with the essential need of the Sarbanes-Oxley act (SOX). Publicly held companies are inviting those with these skills and knowledge as a part of their strong internal control team, to comply with governmental and market demands for accurate reporting. Beyond SOX, forensic accountants help prevent and detect misuse of company resources in private companies.
Recent major corporate scandals have encouraged business owners to turn to Forensic Accountants for more proactive fraud audits and prevention. The frauds which these professionals are looking for is usually one of these two general types: financial statement fraud or theft of assets. To uncover financial statement fraud, detail analyzations are carried out on the financial statements by using ratio analysis and data-mining techniques such as Benford’s Law. Other procedures performed include inspection of documents and records and conduct interviews with witnesses and suspects.
Divorce attorneys may call on forensic accountants to evaluate whether assets are being understated or liabilities are overstated. In addition, forensic accountants may be asked to determine the amount of the loss sustained by victims, testify in court as an expert witness and assist in the preparation of visual aids and written summaries for use in court. To be successful, these accountants needs knowledge of fraud schemes, investigation techniques, and the law to fulfill the expectations of his or her client or employer.