Global Investigations Review (GIR): The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations – Edition 8

Forensic Accounting Skills

GIR publishes the eighth edition of its practical guide for external and in-house counsel, compliance officers and accounting practitioners. This chapter aims to explain key concepts and leading practices in investigations from a forensic accounting perspective. It discusses the responsibilities and objectives of forensic accounting. It outlines the steps taken when conducting a forensic accounting investigation, including the identification, preservation and analysis of records. It addresses some of the challenges that arise when conducting investigations involving the dark web and cryptocurrency before discussing asset tracing and other methods of recovery.

The term ‘forensic’ means ‘belonging to, used in, or suitable to courts of judicature or to public discussion and debate’. Accordingly, forensic accounting involves the application of specialized knowledge and investigative skills and tools to matters in anticipation of possible litigation or dispute resolution, including in civil, regulatory, administrative and criminal enforcement matters.

Forensic accounting skills can be applied to a wide variety of investigations into alleged corporate and individual wrongdoing, including:

  • misappropriation of assets;
  • bribery and corruption;
  • money laundering;
  • financial reporting fraud;
  • conflicts of interest; and
  • non-compliance with policies and procedures, internal controls, laws, regulations or provisions of contracts.

This article was first published on Global Investigations Review in January 2024.