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What is forensic accounting like in terms of day to day work, what type of cases do you work, is it typically focused on large projects like organized crime?

What is forensic accounting like in terms of day to day work, what type of cases do you work, is it typically focused on large projects like organized crime?

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Joan’s Answer

Hello Mia!

It's fantastic to hear about your interest in exploring Forensic Accounting as a potential career path.

Forensic Accounting is a unique and exciting branch of accounting that delves into the investigation of financial misconduct or unethical financial activities within a company. This could involve anyone from regular employees to the highest-ranking officers or directors.

Forensic accountants are like financial detectives, using a variety of skills and methods to uncover any financial misbehavior by the company or its staff. This intriguing field is also known as forensic accountancy or financial forensics.

The work of a forensic accountant can be diverse and challenging, involving various areas such as calculating economic damages, resolving post-acquisition disputes, handling bankruptcy, insolvency, and reorganization, investigating securities fraud, tax fraud, money laundering, business valuation, computer forensics/e-discovery, and assessing fraud risk under SOX 404 or similar regulations.

Forensic accountants are highly qualified professionals, often holding certifications such as Certified Forensic Accounting Professional, Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE - US / International), Certified Public Accountants (CPA - US) with AICPA’s Certified in Financial Forensics est. 2008 (CFF) Credentials, or Certified Forensic Investigation Professionals (CFIP).

I hope this information inspires you! The world of Forensic Accounting is waiting for you to unravel its mysteries.
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Scott’s Answer

I have in the past worked in Forensic accounting and would agree with Joan's answer in that it is detective work to follow the money (and other paper trails). It can be very dry, with significant trawling through information, although modern tools help to do this. It is of course exciting when you find information that suggests that a hypothesis of wrongdoing is correct. It can also be confronting when you provide the right of reply to the accused.

The types of cases that I have seen include Corporate accounting scandals, employee misconduct, misstatement of financial statements, review of information before the courts, review of information provided by third parties and vetting of third parties.

Hope this helps!
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