With the increase in ways we can earn, spend and access money, financial crimes such as money laundering and fraud have increased respectively. According to a report in the Telegraph, online fraud, including identity theft is now the most common crime in the UK. Hiring a forensic Accountant early on in a criminal case can not only speed up what can be a lengthy process, but also add a great deal of weight to your case. The sheer volume of evidence handled in financial cases necessitates an expert opinion, furthermore, the complexity of this evidence and making sense of it requires an experienced Forensic Accountant. For this reason, many solicitors enlist assistance from an experienced forensic accountant, to streamline and strengthen their case. Fraud cases are a prime example of how useful a Forensic Accountant can be for a defence case:
Fraud cases can be incredible difficult from a solicitor’s perspective as the case will often require in-depth data analysis of documents, banking records and financial transactions. Many legal professionals don’t have the expertise or time necessary to facilitate such a detailed study and make sense of the evidence. Forensic Accountants are experts at being involved throughout the legal process, from gathering data and interviewing parties to compiling reports and presenting evidence to the court in person or by way of a document. Forensic Accountants use their vast expertise to analyse existing evidence, pour through data to find more and to support or challenge the amount and validity of a claim.
A Forensic Accountant will use various techniques to analyse the data and evidence available. One method is the use of a computer assisted auditor which extracts historical transactions within a business from a specific time. The aim is to search for anomalies to investigate with haste and efficiency. Their expertise allow Forensic Accountants to quickly and thoroughly research and investigate areas of interest within a case leading to timely and comprehensive conclusions and reports.
Forensic Accountant expert witnesses use their expertise in civil cases to add clarity to the finances in play. This may be applicable in a claims instance where an individual or a company has suffered a loss of earnings or profit due to a third party’s actions or negligence. Their expertise are truly essential in that they offer an unrivalled knowledge in ascertaining how much a claim is worth, as well as assessing a claims validity or faults. An example of where a Forensic Accountant can aid a civil case is divorce:
In their very nature divorce cases aren’t the most amicable and simple of proceedings. It is commonplace in these cases for one party to withhold or manipulate their assets in order to increase their gain or decrease their losses in the process. This can distort the court’s ability to comprehensively establish the couple’s personal and shared assets and reduce the accuracy and fairness with which it can rule. This professional and impartial approach will ensure that all assets are considered, from jewellery and furniture to savings accounts and salaries. In divorce cases Forensic Accountants expert witnesses help to alleviate a highly stressful situation by making sure that all assets are considered and properly quantified, allowing for a fairer and quicker outcome.
Forensic Accountants streamline the process of substantiating a claim, ascertaining financial wrongdoings in fraud cases and assessing the validity of financial evidence and claims. The sheer volume of data that financial cases often come with can be a daunting prospect to those without the experience to efficiently analyse it. Therefore, a Forensic Accountant is a time-conscious, as well as money-conscious, asset to have in a case involving finances.
If you would like to have an expert review your case, whilst also saving time and money, then get in touch today to find out more about our services and how we can help.