How to Start a Forensic Accounting Firm Successfully
The two most sought after services in the accounting sector include forensic account and fraud investigation. Experts agree that the need for fraud detection services is growing at a fast rate. This is creating opportunities in the small and midsized firms that are looking to either start or even expand. It will take time for the forensic accounting practice to stabilize and you will need to be patient. The reason for this is that the services as well as the clients are unique. To become a real competitor in the area of fraud detection, you must look at the strengths that your firm has and focus on these. Your brand has to be associated with quality if your clients are to trust you.
Forensic services is split into two subsets including litigation support services and fraud investigation. Bribery, corporate embezzlement, financial statement fraud and insurance fraud are some of the issues taken care of under fraud investigation. Shareholder divorces, business insurance claims, contract disputes and bankruptcy consultation are just some of the issues that are handled through the litigation services. So that matters are resolved quickly and efficiently, clients are usually divided into specific industries. For you to develop the forensic practice, you will have to select the cases carefully. The firm will not be able to perform at a high level in all types of engagements. There are areas that the firm has expertise in and here is where the firm needs to focus on.
There is the element of huge depth and breadth of experience that is normally associated with the larger firms. However, the smaller firms can be able to compete effectively by developing niches of specialization. The quality of services that you provide should be able to bring in business and gradually build a reputation. If you are able to have someone with the best expertise in the area lead the engagement, you will be at a great advantage. The reason there has to be significant experience is because investigations are processes that are complex and if the client is to be at an advantage, then you have to involve serious expertise.
The AIPCA’s statement on standards for consulting services are the ones to guide all the forensic accounting engagements. You should forget that all the other standards considered basic also apply for example planning, supervision, professional care and competence. Independence is a key factor to ensure that there is credibility. If you put administrative tools to manage engagements, you will develop a standard investigation. All the future engagements will use the standardized procedure developed. Consistently getting good results will get you more clients.
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