How to Do a Perfect Forensic Accounting Report

Forensic Accounting Report

Forensic accounting is an accounting specialty that describes engagements that result from actual or anticipated disputes or litigation. Forensic accounting analysis consists of analyzing financial documents searching for illegal activity within an organization, usually a white-collar crime. Although it is the courts that determine the existence or absence of fraud, it is the procedures used in forensic accounting that uncover irregularities that indicate the presence of willful misleading activities.

How to Write Forensic Accounting Report

Before discussing what forensic accounting report is, it’s good to define what ‘Forensic Accounting’ is. First, the report is made by forensic accountants that analyze, interpret and summarize difficult and complex business and financial matters. These professionals work in insurance companies, police forces, banks, public accounting firms and government agencies, to name some. Forensic accounting, on the other hand, involves compiling financial evidence, communicating their findings through presentations, reporting and developing computer applications so that they could manage the collected information well.

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Financial Forensic Accounting Can Be Called for in a Variety of Areas Including:

  • Securities fraud;
  • Tax fraud;
  • Money laundering;
  • Economic damages calculations, whether suffered through tort or breach of contract;
  • Post-acquisition disputes such as breaches of warranties;
  • Bankruptcy, insolvency, and reorganization;
  • Business valuation;
  • Computer forensics.

Forensic accounting audits relating to criminal matters often are called for when fraud has already been determined. In many cases this will involve the accounting information system assignment and accounts presentation to determine if numbers match reality.

Writing the Forensic Accounting Report

Forensic accounting reports differ from other auditing reports in that they require the use of language and structure that detail findings acceptable to the court system. The report should be written so that it builds the case in series of steps. Regardless of whether the forensic accounting report is intended for use in civil or criminal litigation, they should contain all the pertinent details to the audit. A forensic accounting report should have the following characteristics:

  1. Accuracy: The report should contain all material and relevant evidence and witness statements. Any computational schedules should be correct.
  2. Clear: The report should use clear and simple language that is easy to understand. Slang and technical terminology should be avoided when possible. If technical terms are used they should be explained in the report.
  3. Just the facts: The report should only give the facts without bias or partiality. All facts should be shown regardless of which side they favor.
  4. Relevance: Ensure that all relevant information is in the report. If in doubt as to the relevance of information, then include it. Any information that has either a direct or indirect bearing on the case should be reflected in the report. Don’t include any non-relevant information.
  5. Omit opinions: You should never express an opinion of any kind on the guilt or innocence of any party involved.

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Professional Forensic Accounting Report Writing Steps

Professionals working in forensic accounting can also testify in courts and present visual aids when supporting trial evidence. On the other hand, forensic accounting in business investigations involves tracing funds, identifying assets, recovering assets and making due diligence reviews. Regardless of the type of assignment, civil or criminal, these forensic accountants use the same basics steps when doing an investigation:

1.Meet with the client who can be an attorney or a government representative to talk about and discuss alleged fraud. This step is needed to understand the issues, the facts and the parties involved in the case.

2.You also need to do a dispute check so that you can understand the conflict basis happening between the involved parties. It will also make your investigation more truthful if you understand what’s happening exactly.

3.Do an initial research, and determine investigation logistics. Doing a basic investigation is needed so that you can come up with an action plan to complete your assignment, which we understand isn’t easy.

4.Look for records, which may or may not include credit statements, bank statements, emails ledgers, journals, credit statements, databases and memos, to name some. You may use other documents to help in the investigation.

5.Conduct an interview or maybe several interviews with the accused or involved parties and get their stories. Working on the report, you must be observant to pick up clues or hints, which may lead you to the truth or the perpetrator. Some of these may include vacations, new cars and new businesses without notable capital sources.

6.Regarding business investigations, you must begin with the report analysis when done with the information gathering. You may want to start tracing the company’s assets and measuring the total losses and way in which they happened. In addition, summarizing different transactions should also be done. Evidence analysis will involve tasks, such as tracing assets, calculating damages and performing a calculation on the present value of the assets as per rate of discounts, among others.

7.Develop a good strategy, which involves the creation of a master plan based on the facts you gathered initially. However, you must keep in mind the task’s goal to keep the focus of the investigation. Your goal – the report should provide enough data analysis in order to refute or support the questioned claim.

8.If needed to testify in the court hearing, you may also have to make a report about any action plans and things uncovered in the investigation. In preparing a report, you need visual aids, which include EXCEL spreadsheets, charts, graphs or any other formats that can explain the case better.

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How to Do a Perfect Forensic Accounting Report
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