How do you choose the right forensic accountant for a case?

Forensic accountants have varying backgrounds and skillsets, so how do you select the appropriate one?

We could approach it from two angles. The first could be to someone who’s looking to hire a forensic accountant. The second would be, how would I approach it, assigning someone to a case.

Let’s start with the outside person. What you first want to consider is experience. Can the person demonstrate that they’ve been involved in this type of investigation for a while so they likely know what they’re doing? You might also want to check out the person’s reputation, look at their credentials, and verify their skills match your situation’s needs.

You also have to recognize that you get what you pay for, and deciding purely on price would probably get you results that you aren’t happy with.

From the standpoint internally of how we decide we’re going to work on a case, it depends upon the type of work that’s going to be done. Some of it would involve auditing of records, which of course we want an experienced auditor to do.

Some of the investigation may involve financial statement analysis, so wewould want someone who is routinely involved in the audit function, someone who could find unusual relationships. If it’s computer imaging or testing of controls we probably want an IT specialist who’s familiar with imaging software or the ability to recover data from cell phones and other devices.

And finally, it might involve a great deal of interviewing in which case we want someone who has interviewing skills.

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