Diary of a forensic accountant: Part 1

Article, EconomiaSeptember 2016

Insurance / Legal / Corporate

The first in a series on the life of a forensic accountant, which takes in flaming buildings and being cross-examined.

As appeared in Economia, 8 September 2016.

By: Tony Levitt

A client calls to say that a factory in the Midlands is on fire, and he would like us to establish the financial impact of the damage – by tomorrow if possible. Accountants are not known for leaving their offices to trample though smouldering wreckage of buildings and equipment, trying to determine the loss of profit arising from the damage and the effect that this might have on the company.

You might very well ask, why is an accountant running off to see a burnt factory? No numbers there.

A traditional accountant is often looking back at historic data to establish the financial results of a company, and to ensure that the financial statements are fairly presented. A forensic accountant, on the other hand, is usually looking ahead, to establish what would have happened had the event or circumstance not occurred. An event could be a natural disaster, such as a fire or a flood, a breach of contract, dispute between parties or the modern scourge – a cyber-attack.

Read the rest of the article at Economia.

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