What Is a Forensic CPA?

If you’ve ever needed to prove that a company or individual is doing something suspicious with their money, or to separate co-mingled funds for divorce purposes, you likely worked with a forensic CPA. Forensic accountants are skilled at finding hidden assets in San Francisco, CA. This type of accounting is useful for investigations and legal purposes. If you’re considering hiring a forensic CPA, read on to learn more about what they do and how they can help you.

What is forensic accounting?

Forensic accounting is a type of auditing process that uses investigative and accounting techniques. The term “forensic” indicates that the evidence produced is suitable for court cases. In fact, most forensic accounting assignments are for the express purpose of using their findings as evidence in a lawsuit, or as part of a criminal investigation. It’s most often used in fraud, embezzlement and divorce cases—in other words, situations where you suspect someone is hiding assets or siphoning funds.

Forensic accountants look through business and financial records to spot abnormalities. They provide accounting analyses that identify where problems lie—despite what a business or individual says about them. They might trace funds, try to identify hidden assets and try to recover assets.

There are a number of different industries and professions that hire forensic CPAs. Government offices, police departments, banks, law firms and insurance companies commonly need their services. A forensic CPA will analyze financial records and may even develop computer programs to appropriately manage the information they uncover.

How forensic CPAs can help you

Forensic CPAs often work closely with litigators on both criminal and civil lawsuits. After they analyze the financial and business records, you might ask them to present the evidence in easy-to-understand formats for trial, such as visual aids, PowerPoint presentations and more:

  • Insurance investigation: Insurance companies use forensic CPAs to determine the true cost of a claim, such as car accidents, lost wages, medical costs and more. They typically only look at the historical data, rather than new mitigating circumstances as they arise.
  • Litigation support: Similarly, forensic CPAs can help attorneys decide how much to ask for in civil damages, or whether the opposing party is asking for a fair amount. If the case proceeds to trial, the forensic CPA may be called to testify as an expert witness. You might see this in accident cases, divorces and more.
  • Criminal investigation: Finally, your forensic CPA can help with criminal investigations. For example, securities fraud, insurance fraud and identity theft are all types of investigations that will use forensic accounting. The goal is to find out whether a crime occurred and whether there was criminal intent. There are a number of different ways they can assist a criminal investigation, especially when it comes to white collar crimes.

Forensic CPAs are valuable assets in investigations and trial. If you think you could benefit from our services, such as finding hidden assets in divorce in San Francisco, CA, Medina & Company Consulting, Inc. can help. Call us today to learn more.