Are you familiar with the secrets of forensic accounting? These services have become increasingly popular due to their effectiveness in legal proceedings, mainly related to embezzlement and fraud cases.

Forensic accountants employ a wide range of accounting and investigative skills to gather financial evidence and perform in-depth financial analysis for the purpose of detecting fraudulent activities. These professionals are also capable of testifying in court at the request of clients involved in fraud litigations.

In order for such experts to detect and prevent fraud, they’re supposed to be armed with patience, problem-solving skills, an eye for detail, and integrity.

Nowadays, there is a multitude of forensic accounting Los Angeles experts, providing clients with assistance in fraud investigations, litigation support, marital matters, and damage calculations.

The following tips will assist you in making the right choice.

Consider experience

The primary factor to consider when choosing a highly qualified forensic accountant is his/her experience record. In order for a professional to provide the required forensic assistance, he/she is supposed to be experienced in your industry. An accountant with plenty of experience under its belt is more likely to handle your specific requirements than a person that is a novice in this line of work.

Additionally, the forensic accountant your hire is expected to have worked with at least several similar cases like yours beforehand.  Make sure you learn more about the candidates’ experience by inspecting the section devoted to this aspect on their official sites. You can further investigate their experience record by asking relevant questions about their former cases over the phone or face-to-face, at the first-round interviews.

Moreover, in order for a forensic accountant to handle corporate and fraud investigations with maximal effectiveness, he/she is expected to be experienced in an extensive variety of financial matters. For instance, such a professional should be proficient at detecting transaction and management fraud.

The former refers to the detection of unauthorized, fraudulent transactions, made by using stolen payment cards. In contrast, the latter refers to an intentional fraud committed by the management of a particular company by providing misleading financial reports. In both cases, it takes tons of experience to trace such fraudulent behavior, as well as plenty of time to gather the right amount of evidence.

Furthermore, forensic accountants have to be adept enough to handle different cases of embezzlement and internal theft. Also, these professionals should be knowledgeable in the field of inventory shrinkage, tracing of funds, and money laundering. Click here to learn more about the crime of embezzlement.

Check credentials

In order for a forensic accountant to be considered trustworthy, he/she is supposed to be equipped with the right credentials. For instance, a professional that has earned the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential is believed to be accomplished in the detection and prevention of fraudulent activities.

Forensic accountants with CFE credentials are to be trusted, as their expertise results from completing a series of demanding training programs. Consequently, employing such an expert to monitor the financial activity of your business could even prevent fraud from taking place.

These professionals are experts at detecting red flags that point out to a certain risk of fraudulent activities within a company. Their combination of skills and law expertise is more than enough to prevent such crimes from happening, thus saving business owners from a financial crisis and involvement in costly court trials. Apart from detecting fraud, forensic accountants are also skilled at resolving fraud allegations on behalf of clients.

Moreover, make sure you choose a candidate with a CFF designation, referring to professionals that have become certified in financial forensics. Unlike the CFE designation, an accountant can only acquire a CFF credential after passing the widely known CPA exam, organized by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. For further guidance on the required knowledge and eligibility for obtaining the CFF credential, go to the following link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certified_in_Financial_Forensics.

Consequently, completing the CPA exam successfully makes an accountant qualified to obtain the CFF credential. A professional that has all of the above-mentioned designations is undoubtedly the right person to hire for providing forensic assistance.

Check expert witness experience

Forensic accountants are also invited to testify in the court of law as objective experts, providing valuable information in marital disputes, breaches of warranty, disputes between business partners, and numerous other cases. Providing fraud litigation support is often challenging to these professionals, as it requires both accounting and oratory skills.

When hiring a forensic accountant to support your case in court, it’s paramount to choose a professional with experience in being an expert witness. This person is supposed to be skilled enough to present oral evidence and not be intimidated by the opposing attorneys. Bear in mind that not every individual is cut out to be an expert witness, despite the extensive accounting knowledge.

Consider its skills

Another crucial factor to consider when hiring such a professional is the personal skills he/she has. For instance, forensic accountants are expected to have an eye for detail, which is indispensable for performing in-depth financial analysis. These experts aren’t supposed to overlook any detail in the course of data analysis, as it might prove to be conclusive in a particular case. Remarkable attention to detail is a must in this profession in order for these accounting experts to detect data abnormalities.

Apart from being thorough, forensic accountants need to be tech-savvy as well. Since most of the job involves using a myriad of software tools and accounting programs, these professionals should be knowledgeable in the field of technology. The only way for them to keep up with fraudsters is to follow the latest technology trends.

Problem-solving skills are of essential importance for investigating the exact way in which fraud was committed. Since most clients hire this kind of assistance after such crimes have already taken place, accounting experts employ their problem-solving skills to inspect various aspects of the case. Sometimes, these professionals use their skills to invent useful techniques for impeding financial fraud.

Another indispensable skill to look for in a forensic accountant is patience. Considering the painstaking nature of these accounting investigations, a person has to be more than forbearing in order to follow the traces of fraud, which tend to be amazingly covered and camouflaged.  Keep in mind that a lack of patience is detrimental in this profession.

Perhaps the most significant characteristic to look for in a forensic accounting expert is integrity. Due to the sensitive character of this profession, these accountants are required to be trustworthy, honest, and trustful. There’s no way for you as a client to confide your private matters to a professional you find completely unreliable.

Don’t forget the cost

The ultimate step of your journey is checking the cost of these services in your local area. Using the services of an accountant who works for a large corporation would cost you considerably more than hiring one who is employed by a smaller firm. Opting for the cheapest offer in the market isn’t exactly beneficial, as these providers are predominantly inexperienced and insufficiently qualified for the job.

Final word

These services are of essential importance for detecting fraudulent activities.

Choose wisely!