Forensic Accountant Fraud Case Study

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3.2 CORE KNOWLEDGE OF FORENSIC ACCOUNTANTS
A forensic accountant is an expert in accounting and financial methods. When the companies keep on growing in size and density, detecting fraud requires a forensic accountant to become skilful in an ever-increasing number of professional skills and competencies. Here are some of the broad areas of expertise for a forensic accountant:
• There should be an in-depth knowledge of financial statements and the capability to critically analyze them. This expertise helps forensic accountants to detect unusual patterns in accounting information and identify their source.
• They should also acquire a thorough perception of fraud schemes, which should include not only asset misappropriations, money laundering,
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There are five core areas which any forensic accountant should address while he proceeds with the investigation in any case :
• Four W- One H- He should Focus on who, what, when, where and how of what happened. This is important in order to comprehend the whole situation that is made more difficult by the lack of complete documentation or other evidence. A thorough investigation and appraisal of what happened would help out in framing the issues for the forensic accountant, the management and their lawyers to deem when and what steps ought to be taken.
• Nobody should be ruled out or kept beyond suspicion. A forensic accountant should consider all suspects.
• He should be cautious or alert for forged documents.
• Perform broad and extensive searches of company documents and computer files for evidence of fraud. This is the area where the forensic accountant's team of IT personnel would be essential in any investigation.
• Interview key company employees - formally and informally.

3.5 DUTIES OF A FORENSIC
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A well-known firm of forensic accountants and its team would also have integrity coming from the firm's reputation, network and track record .
• Accounting know-how and Industry Awareness - An external forensic accountant would add to the organisation's investigation team with breadth and depth of experience and deep industry expertise in handling frauds of the nature encountered by the organisation.
• Provision of valuable manpower resources - An organisation in the midst of reorganisation and restructuring following a major fraud would hardly have the full-time resources to handle a broad-based exhaustive investigation. The forensic accountant and his team of assistants would provide the much needed experienced resources, thereby freeing the organisation's staff for other more immediate management demands. This is all the more critical when the nature of the fraud calls for management to move quickly to contain the problem and when resources cannot be mobilised in

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