The job description for Forensic Accountant describes a job of people responsible for collecting accounting records and evaluating transactions to identify fraudulent reporting and unethical behaviour.
Forensic accountants use their knowledge of accounting and auditing to conduct investigations into businesses suspected of engaging in unethical business practices. They conduct investigations into monetary offenses, report findings, and may be called upon to testify in court as specialized witnesses.
Job Description for Forensic Accountant: Primary Duties
- Assesses financial transactions for fraudulent activities by checking that records and transactions were properly done.
- Checks suspicious financial transactions by compiling and analyzing evidence of illegal activity.
- Gathers information on transactions by interviewing concerned stakeholders inside the organizations.
- Shares findings by presenting the findings in a format that stakeholders can understand.
- Recommends actionable steps to address areas of concern by developing an action plan.
- Prepares documents and evidence to present in court by complying with court requirements for such documentation.
- Performs analyses of financial data to trace discrepancies and identify fraudulent activity or errors by reconciling account balances.
- Conducts investigations into various financial crimes, including embezzlement, money laundering, and securities fraud, by interviewing witnesses, reviewing records, and collecting evidence.
- Assists with litigation by preparing exhibits and testifying as an expert in court proceedings.
- Prepares reports by summarizing findings from any investigations or audits.
- Locates possible instances of fraudulent activity or poor management of financial resources within an organization by checking financial records.
- Identifies potential flaws in an organization's financial systems by evaluating internal controls to ensure their effectiveness in preventing fraud or financial mismanagement.
- Provides recommendations for improving an organization's financial systems or processes by coming up with recommendations for each area of deficiencies.
- Assists in recovering assets lost due to fraud or other financial crimes by creating a recovery strategy based on the findings.
Related: Job Description of an Account Executive
Job Description for Forensic Accountant: Educational Qualifications Required
- A degree in a commercial field such as accounting, business and finance is required.
- People who occupy this role are often required to be a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA) or any other recognized certification.
- Extensive knowledge of anti-money laundering statutes.
Related: Senior Accountant Job Description
Job Description for Forensic Accountant: Experience Required
- At least 3 years experience in a similar or related role.
- Experience handling forensic accounting assignments is mandatory.
Job Description for Forensic Accountant: KSAOs
The job description for Forensic Accountant must include the KSAOs required to make someone competent. Below I list some KSAOs you need to include in the job description for Forensic Accountant.
- Knowledge of accounting principles: Understanding accounting principles will allow them to check for transgressions in the processing of accounting transactions.
- Legal knowledge: This is an important requirement as the people coming into this role need a basic understanding of legal concepts related to financial crimes, such as fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering.
- Software usage: The knowledge and ability to use related software such as forensic auditing and general accounting software.
- Analytical skills: Forensic accountants require the ability to analyze complex financial data and identify discrepancies or irregularities.
- Attention to detail: They must pay attention to detail to spot errors or inconsistencies in financial records.
- Communication skills: The ability to communicate complex financial information clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing, is important for this role.
- Critical thinking: Forensic accountants need these skills as they would be required to present information logically supported by data.
- Investigative skills: The ability to conduct investigations gather evidence, and interview witnesses are important.
- Organizational skills: They work on multiple cases at once, so they need strong planning and organizational skills to manage the complexity of the work.
- Problem-solving skills: The ability to analyze and find solutions to problems is key.
- Research skills: Forensic accountants must be able to research financial transactions, laws, regulations, and other relevant topics.
- Collaboration: The ability to work with different stakeholders is important. They collaborate with other professionals such as forensic specialists, lawyers and law enforcement.
- Time management: Forensic accountants often work under tight deadlines, so they need strong time management skills to ensure they meet their deadlines.
- Ethics: They must adhere to high ethical standards in their work, maintaining confidentiality and avoiding conflicts of interest.
- Numerical ability: They work with numbers as they need to check calculations done by others.
- Ability to use computer software to prepare reports.
- Ability to prepare good reports.
- Ability to present information in writing or orally.
- The ability to work with various stakeholders is required in this role.
The job description for Forensic Accountant is a key role that ensures that financial transactions and reports are not processed fraudulently. In the job description for Forensic Accountant, it must be made clear that candidates for this role must have analytical skills and good report-writing skills to function effectively.