During a recent Government Enforcement Institute conference, Baker Tilly explored the numerous and critical contributions that a forensic auditor can provide in conducting internal investigations and preparing to defend a government action. The session titled, “The Forensic Auditor: A Key Witness in the Defense Arsenal” included representatives from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).
The discussion focused around the following benefits of utilizing forensic auditors:
- Strategy first, numbers second: Forensic accountants process more than numbers. Lawyers rely on forensic accountants to play a strategic role in crafting focused and comprehensive discovery requests in addition to providing input into the scope and strategy of the investigation.
- Enhanced investigations: Forensic accountants can enhance the completeness of investigations by shadowing the independent investigations team and its external audit firm (for Big 4 and other audit firms that examine company’s financial statements).
- Objective, “expert” testimony: Forensic accounts can be truly invaluable to a trial. Beyond being able to present information clearly and accurately, an expert can evaluate a potential lawsuit to determine whether litigation is feasible. Remember, earlier involvements means better preparation for testimony.
For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly forensic accounting specialists can help, contact our team.