Relating to or denoting the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of crime. The results of a Forensic investigation are "suitable for use in a court of law", and it is to that standard and potential outcome that forensic accountants generally have to work.
Most business-minded people are familiar with an accounting audit which looks at the business performance and compliance from a numbers and process perspective. Forensic accounting is a little different. It considers motivation, particularly the motivation employees or business partners may have to defraud your business.
FORENSIC VS. INVESTIGATIVE ACCOUNTING
While often used interchangeably, there is a subtle difference between Forensic and Investigative Accounting. As explained above, Forensic Accounting simply means it is admissible in court, and is prepared in such a manner. Investigative Accounting is often performed for the benefit of a single owner or corporate head and presented in format that is easier to understand. In short, we remove the legal jargon that can make it overly convoluted. Apollo Limited's Forensic Accounting division provides an accounting analysis that is suitable for court and ultimately used in dispute resolution. Forensic Accounting encompasses both Litigation Support and Investigative Accounting.
Our accountants utilize accounting, auditing and investigative skills when conducting any investigation, forensic or otherwise. Our ability to respond immediately and communicate financial information clearly and concisely in a courtroom setting is the main difference between a simple investigation and one meant for legal proceedings.
Apollo Limited's Accountants are trained to find the truth behind the numbers. We only deal with the business reality and supply objective data to those who can use it to determine innocence or guilt. We provide unbiased, evidence-driven interpretations, not conjecture and always take into consideration that no two investigations are the alike. Above all else, we operate under the firm belief that all people are innocent until proven guilty and recognize that things are not always as they seem.
Forensic Accounting encompasses two areas:
Litigation represents the factual presentation of economic issues related to existing or pending litigation. In this capacity, the forensic accountant quantifies damages sustained by parties involved in legal disputes and can assist in resolving disputes before they reach the courtroom.
If a dispute reaches the courtroom, the forensic accountant may testify as an expert witness. Knowledge of the courtroom sets the forensic accountant apart from a typical accountant.
Investigation is the act of determining whether criminal matters such as employee theft, securities fraud (including falsification of financial statements), identity theft, or insurance fraud have occurred. Investigation may also occur in civil matters. A forensic accountant may be hired to search for hidden assets in a divorce case.
While forensic accounting and fraud auditing are related, fraud auditing is more anticipatory. Fraud auditors try to control a situation before something happens, whereas a forensic accountant may be hired after the fact. A forensic accountant is usually hired after a company suspects theft, fraud or embezzlement.
Forensic accountants are suspicious. They must be able to apply their accounting knowledge to legal issues. A forensic CPA will be asked to write expert reports, assist in depositions, testify as an expert witness, conduct fraud investigations and assist in civil and criminal investigations.
Apollo's forensics accounting and investigations team helps companies uncover the facts related to fraud, misconduct or impropriety. We provide a range of solutions to discover, collect, interpret and present findings from disparate and hard to decipher information sources to help companies manage the risks of litigation, investigations and regulatory enforcement.
ApolloLTD helps companies address, mitigate and minimize future issues related to improper accounting or financial reporting, ranging from revenue recognition to loss reserves, to disclosures. Our team has extensive knowledge of relevant financial reporting standards including generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), international financial reporting standards (IFRS), and experience with Securities and Exchange (SEC) regulations and investigations, and industry-specific reporting and disclosure rules.
Special Forensic Services We Provide:
Financial Restatement Support - Apollo assists companies undergoing restatements in a variety of ways including acting as a project management office to coordinate the restatement, providing technical accounting support on GAAP issues, providing staffing to supplement existing resources, documenting the restatement for external and internal stakeholders in whitepapers, and assisting in interfacing with external auditors, counsel and other key stakeholders.
Technical Accounting and Financial Guidance - Apollo can provide assistance in understanding and applying GAAP to complex fact patterns; developing whitepapers setting forth company positions on GAAP application and assist in responding to SEC comment letters; interfacing with external auditors at the client service and national office level; and presenting company accounting positions in regulatory inquiries, including to the SEC.
New Accounting Pronouncements - Apollo can provide policy level as well as tactical implementation assistance to assist companies in adopting new accounting pronouncements. We assist in reviewing and revising internal controls, accounting policy manuals, and providing training on new accounting considerations, in addition to providing additional resources to allow for timely and effective adoption of the new pronouncement.
Post-acquisition Support - Apollo can assist in the initial recognition and subsequent reporting for purchase accounting transactions through providing guidance on the technical GAAP, and providing assistance in valuing the tangible and intangible assets acquired.
Internal Controls Support - Companies often need additional expertise to evaluate how internal controls address critical risk factors. Apollo can provide an independent review and assessment of your internal control structure. Subsequent to such a review, we can develop a remediation plan, based on our past experience, ensuring that your control structure addresses critical risk factors. We can also oversee and monitor the implantation of the remediation plan or act as an independent consultant.
Management Support - Apollo personnel have experience working with and as financial accounting executives. As such, we can provide senior management and the board of directors with practical advice in addressing accounting matters, performing internal investigations and interacting with external stakeholders, such as a company’s independent accounting firm and regulators.
We combine deep investigation consulting skills, forensic accounting expertise, and industry experience to help companies effectively respond to inquiries and navigate compliance. We bring together former law enforcement officials, prosecutors and regulators, forensic accountants, computer forensics specialists, litigation support professionals, and industry experts to support companies and their legal counsel.