Forensic accounting is the process of combining professional accountancy and investigative skills to acquire information that is admissible in a court of law. They are normally hired to investigate fraudulent cases and unravel the complex finances of criminals who have committed such crimes. Armed with the knowledge that they acquire in their investigation a prosecution becomes more likely. The rise in the number of fraud cases has seen an increase in the demand for skilled forensic accountants and more job opportunities in the sector.
In order to become a forensic accountant you need to have completed a relevant higher education course, preferably to a Master's level. Additional knowledge and expertise pertaining to criminal justice and law enforcement are also advisable. Most practitioners should have between one and three years of accounting experience. The skills learnt in this time are easily transferable to the investigative sector and ensure you can affectively follow trails left by criminals. It is also beneficial to seek certification from professional organisations, such as the ICAEW or ACCA, to ensure you understand the standards you will need to work to.
If you need a forensic accountant in London to help with your case you should take care and ensure you choose the right one. The amount of experience the individual or company has can be the difference between a successful case and losing out. With the variety of different types of fraud that can be committed you need to ensure you work with a professional who understands the specific area you need help with. Some will focus purely on investigating large businesses, whereas others focus on individual cases like tax or benefit fraud. Try to match your needs to the company that can best cater for you.
If you have been the victim of fraud consulting an investigative accountant early can help you to quickly track down the culprit and reclaim your loses. They will advise you on how to proceed and set about examining your case. Normally they will require access to your financial information, including balance sheets and statements, to conduct a thorough examination. Their findings should be compiled into a report that will be admissible in court, complete with evidence and visual support if required.