Forensic accounting is a field that deals mainly with using the principles of accounting together with the methods afforded by information technology in order to come up with a reliable financial analysis. This may also be known as investigative accounting.
The help of forensic accountants is often employed for the purpose of coming up with data and documentation which is admissible in court. As such, they are usually asked to go over financial records of companies, as well as assist in the auditing process. In fact, a company may hire a forensic accountant to go over its records just before a scheduled audit, in order to ensure that there are no loose ends. Forensic accountants may also have to provide services in cases where a merger or takeover is set to take place. Furthermore, part of their job is the calculation of costs and, if appropriate, damages caused by certain actions, whether deliberate or not.
Since forensic accountants are authorized to produce documentation which is legally acceptable, they may also be required to be present in court proceedings to give verbal testimonies and explanations on their findings. Since they are able to do costing on damages, they can give the courts and corporate lawyers an idea of how much should be paid by one entity to another in the event of a contract breach or similar circumstance.
The scope and level of impact involved in the output of a forensic accountant naturally carries a lot of responsibility with it. As such, forensic accountants must be highly accurate and detailed in their work. The nature of the job also requires a great capacity for analytical thinking, as well as good communication skills to enable effective communication of findings.