Ten Times You Might Need A Forensic Accountant

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Forensic accountants are tasked with investigating a huge range of different financial matters for a wide variety of reasons ranging from legal purposes to divorce proceedings and business matters. It could be the case that hiring a forensic accountant could be extremely valuable for you – let’s have a look at ten reasons why you might need one.

1. You’re getting a divorce

In many relationships, one partner (or both) may not know the extent of the other’s wealth and assets which can put them at a disadvantage when negotiating a divorce settlement. Whether you’re concerned that your partner is hiding money or not disclosing their income fully, a forensic accountant can be used to examine their finances in detail in order to get a full understanding of their situation.

2. You’re taking over someone’s finances

It may be the case that you have an elderly relative who is no longer able to keep control of their own financial situation, for example if you have been given power of attorney and they are moving into care. But taking over someone’s finances can be complicated even if they can explain all the details to you, if your relative is not in a position to do so it can be a real challenge. A forensic accountant can be brought in to help appraise you of the details.

3. You’re interested in buying a business

If you’re looking into buying an established business, you may wish to take the financial details provided by the seller with a healthy pinch of salt. It’s important to know exactly what is going on with the business before you commit to buying, and a forensic accountant can get to the bottom of it.

4. You’re selling a business

If you’re on the other end of the matter and are planning to sell your business, forensic accountants can come in useful too. You can get an accurate valuation to ensure you’re selling at the right price. Just make sure that you opt for an accountancy firm with excellent local knowledge. So if your business works in the capital, make sure you choose London based forensic accountants.

5. Something looks wrong in a financial report

It might be that you’ve seen a financial report and something looks off, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. In medium and large businesses, establishing the full financial picture can be a real challenge. A forensic accountant will be able to come on and impartially analyse all of the details to see if there really is a problem.

6. You’re worried an employee is committing fraud

If you’ve got an employee who is potentially committing fraud it can be a tricky situation. You don’t want to accuse anyone without the facts but that at the same time, fraud is a crime that can’t be allowed to continue. This is where a forensic accountant can be brought in to quietly look into the circumstances and establish if fraud is genuinely taking place. This can give you all the help you need.

7. You suspect a business partner is stealing from you

Things can be even trickier if you’re concerned that a trusted business partner could be stealing from you in some form. This could be through using business funds for their own gain, lying regarding certain financial arrangements or siphoning company money into their own pockets. Discretion is absolutely paramount when you are investigating this as if your suspicions are unfounded it could be embarrassing and potentially lead to a poor business relationship.

8. You’re dealing with the death of a relative

The death of a relative is always a difficult time, but if you’re left with a complicated financial situation to deal with it can make an unpleasant situation even more stressful. Get control of the details by hiring a forensic accountant to look over the facts in detail.

9. You believe someone in your company is losing the business money

If you control or oversee a large business with a number of different departments and are worried that the business is losing too much money, it might seem like a real challenge to identify the culprit. A forensic accountant will take an overview of the whole business to establish exactly what is going on.

10. You wish to divide assets in a tax efficient way

Tax efficiency can be so important – staying completely within the law but making use of the system can save you a significant amount of money. When you’re dividing your assets, a forensic accountant can help you to understand the best way to do it.

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Mike James is a UK-based writer for a few small companies and organisations, as well as numerous print and online magazines. Specialising in technology developments and business matters, Mike is best known for articles based around how best to integrate the two - particularly concerning cyber security, where he has been published in some of the leading authorities online.