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Forensic Accounting

Summary

Forensic accountants, also referred to as forensic auditors or investigative auditors, utilize their accounting, auditing and investigative skills in various litigation support and investigative accounting settings. A forensic accountant has the responsibility to communicate financial information clearly and concisely in a courtroom setting. They provide an accounting analysis that is suitable to the court which will form the basis for discussion, debate and ultimately dispute resolution. They are trained to look beyond the numbers and deal with the business reality of the situation.

Career Opportunities in Forensic Accounting

  • Private Corporations / Firms
    As part of the corporate governance committee, a forensic accountant can make significant contribution in: formulating and establishing a comprehensive governance policy; prevention of fraud; monitoring not only compliance at the top levels of the corporate power, but also management procedures and employee activity. They ensure the integrity of financial statements by actively investigating for potential frauds.
  • Insurance Companies
    Insurance companies recruit forensic accountants to have a precise assessment of claims to be settled. Similarly, policy holders seek the help of a forensic accountant when they need to challenge the claim settlement as worked out by the insurance companies. A forensic accountant handles the claims relating to substantial loss policy, property loss due to different risks, loyalty insurance and other types of insurance claims.
  • Government Organizations
    Forensic Accountants can also work in a number of government organizations where they conduct the financial investigative portion of complex cases.
  • Public accounting firms
    Forensic accountants are employed here to inquire, identify, investigate, test, examine, analyze and interpret financial documents and data
  • Law firms
    Forensic Accountants with broad business backgrounds and forensic experience are a vital resource to the litigation team and provide valuable insight into financial issues. Litigation often involves multiple, complex accounting and legal issues that overlap and intertwine.

How to Become a Forensic Accountant

Stream Graduation After Graduation After Post Graduation
path 1
Clear Class XII in Commerce Stream (Recommended) Pursue Bachelor???s degree in any field for 3-4 years/ Pursue professional certification for CA/CS/CWA or CPAGet a diploma/ certificate in Forensic Accounting-

Important Facts

  • Forensic accounting courses are usually offered in the master's degree level.
  • In order to be a Certified Forensic Accountant in India you must be a Graduate from a recognized University.
  • Besides, you should have a professional experience of at-least three years and clear the CFAP examination with at least 75% marks.
  • In India, CFAP Examinations are conducted by India Forensic and moderated under the bylaws of Forensic Accounting Research Foundation.

Leading Institutes

Top Forensic Accounting Institutes in India
College Location Website
India Forensic Pune www.indiaforensic.com/
Institute of Chartered Accountants of India Delhi www.icai.org/
Institute of Cost Accountants of India Delhi www.icmai.in/

Work Description

  • Perform forensic research to trace funds and identify assets for recovery
  • Conduct forensic analysis of financial data
  • Prepare forensic accounting reports from financial findings
  • Prepare analytical data for litigation and testify the same as needed
  • Analyze and investigate financial statements and reports for signs of irregularities
  • Reconstruct the events and activities involved in financial wrongdoing
  • Create presentations in support of legal cases, and may be called upon to testify in court regarding their findings
  • Audit records, investigate into inconsistencies, trace assets, and interview individuals who created, contributed to, or reviewed records under analysis

Pros & Cons of a Career in Forensic Accounting

Pros
  • Professionals in this field are high in demand
  • Decent remuneration and perks
  • Is an interesting combination of law and accountancy
Cons
  • It is an added skill and not a whole career domain in itself
  • Long and tedious work hours
  • Requires utmost honesty and dedication
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