Written and verbal communication skills are vital to successfully interpreting financial information. One should be comfortable with oral evidence and demonstrate the natural ability to convey an opinion to attorneys, judges, and juries. Oral communication will also be demonstrated on the stand in a court setting, as well as a professional appearance and demeanor. Listening is a part of the communication process also. It is critical on the stand and during cross-examination in a trial. Forensic accountants should strive to succinctly answer questions without volunteering information. In addition, they will listen to the opposing counsel’s expert opinions and know how to contrast those points on a professional level without being unpleasantly confrontational. (Yankunas, 2011).
Another skill that is vital is accounting is foresight. That will require knowledgeable, quick-thinking experts to have the ability to look beyond the analytical details to grasp the bigger picture. That often includes the ability to determine a settlement potential. The right professional will offer potential ideas to address the issues in a case. They should be independent, objective and ethical. A forensic accountant has a responsibility to focus on the facts and resist the temptation to shape the evidence to achieve a desired conclusion.
They should have auditing experience. An audit background provides a base skill set, including professional skepticism and a general knowledge of financial systems and the control environment. Forensic accountants should be analytical and have a keen attention to detail. They should be well organized and have the ability to develop a work program tailored any situation.
Proper interpretation of financial information is critical. The forensic accountant should be able to obtain and evaluate all relevant financial information, process it and achieve the engagement objective. The key is to ensure that the findings are not bogged down with financial speak only recognizable by accountants. Thorough investigation and analysis of financial documents, concise communication of findings and a goal-focused mindset are key components of an experienced forensic accountant.
The final skill I will discuss is auditing. Normally forensic accountants are involved in the early stages of a case to assist attorneys in formulating case strategy. Many are trained in professional skepticism in the auditing phases of their career. Auditing training helps accountants view the facts available and identify possible scenarios that a lawyer could use to develop strategy. They also aid the attorney in anticipating strategies the will be used by the opposing side. (Flex study: Forensic Accounting, 2009).
In a courtroom environment all of those skills and more are put to constant use. During court situations forensic accountant’s roles vary. This 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. 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. Companies may hire forensic accountants to go over its records just before a scheduled audit, in order to ensure that there…