Each Investigative and Forensic Accounting assignment is unique. Accordingly, the actual approach adopted and the procedures performed will be specific to it. However, in general, many assignments will include the steps detailed below.
It is helpful to meet with the client to obtain an understanding of the important facts, players and issues at hand.
A conflict check should be carried out as soon as the relevant parties are established.
It is often useful to carry out a preliminary investigation prior to the development of a detailed plan of action. This will allow subsequent planning to be based upon a more complete understanding of the issues.
This plan will take into account the knowledge gained by meeting with the client and carrying out the initial investigation and will set out the objectives to be achieved and the methodology to be utilized to accomplish them.
Depending on the nature of the assignment this may involve locating documents, economic information, assets, a person or company, another expert or evidence of the occurrence of an event.
The actual analysis performed will be dependent upon the nature of the assignment and may involve:
Often a report will be prepared which may include sections on the nature of the assignment, scope of the investigation, approach utilized, limitations of scope and findings and/or opinions. The report will include those schedules and graphics necessary to properly support and explain the findings.