Dr. Gina Zaffino
Bus 508, Contemporary Business
Running head: Forensic Accountant2
Determine the most important five (5) skills that a forensic accountant needs to possess and evaluate the need for each skill. Be sure to include discussion regarding the relationship between the skill and its application to business operations. Although forensic accounting is not a new field, it has become more talked about since cases like Enron came to light. For someone interested in the Forensic Accountant profession they should know that this field can be time consuming, but very rewarding. People who work in this career investigate white collar crimes such as company fraud, fraudulent financial record reporting, and illegal investment schemes. In a recent study by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows that white collar crimes have cost the United States and estimated 300 billion dollars (DiGabriele 2008). I think five of the skills that a forensic account would need are communication skills, detail oriented, professional and ethical behavior, sound judgment and discretion. Communication skills are vital in any profession. It allows you to convey information for others to receive. The problem with communication is that it can be interpreted differently by other intended parties. As a forensic accountant, communication skills, verbal and non verbal, are important when it comes to conducting interviews and gathering information. After gathering the records, forensic accountants often conduct interviews with the accused and other involved parties to get individual stories about the irregularities. Forensic accountants have to be able to intemperate correctly the information they receive as well as ask the right questions to get the information they need. They are also looking for non verbal forms of communication during this process. Forensic accountants also have to be detail oriented. Once they have done their initial interviews and gathered the required information, the accountant must go over everything with a fine tooth comb. They have to go through records, such as bank, credit card statements, journals, Running head: Forensic Accountant3
ledgers, databases, email and memos. Some clues are more obvious than others such as spending on new cars, numerous vacations and starting additional businesses without the financial means to do so. It is important that professional and ethical behavior is used at all times. As a professional in the field you are expected to conduct yourself with high standard. Forensic accounts hold the fate of a company in their hands. Working a case in which you have a bias, working a case in which your friend is the person under investigation, accepting bribes all show unethical behavior. As a professional in the field you are under oath. If it is found that you were unethical in your finding you can be brought up on charges and have your CPA or other government clearances revoked. Sound judgment and discretion go hand in hand. After gathering all the facts and review all the materials collected. The forensic account has to use sound judgment in making a determination on his findings. It is then up to their discretion to decide what parties are liable. Describe the role of a forensic accountant within a courtroom environment In a courtroom setting, forensic accountants can be used in many ways. They can be used early on in the courtroom case as an advisor to the attorney. As an advisor, the attorney can present ideas on how to go forward with the case to the accountant or they may use them as an expert witness. As a expert witness in the courtroom, a forensic accountant would have to present expert testimony as to the information they found during their research. It is the role of the accountant to present the information before the judge, jury, and the...