Evidence of efficacy of forensic accountants
A new study has proved that business owners and individuals are recognising the benefits of bringing in a forensic accountant early in cases such as professional negligence or a shareholder dispute, as their use shot up by over 20 per cent in the year to December 2016.
The Network of Independent Forensic Accountants (NIFA) found that its members witnessed a significant increase in professional negligence cases, where early involvement can often be key to building a strong case and achieving settlement. In addition, there was a notable increase in the number of fraud and matrimonial cases handled over the period, with matrimonial now representing the largest single type of case.
IThe fact that the advisory cases taken on by NIFA members is evenly split between claimants and defendants demonstrates their ability to form a balanced view and to pre-empt points that might be raised by the other side .
NIFA members specialise in a wide range of cases including fraud, criminal cases, professional negligence, commercial litigation, shareholder disputes, expert determination, matrimonial and personal injury. All have seen an increase in the number of instructions with the notable exception of a fall in the number of personal injury cases that follows a long term decline reflecting the courts reluctance to allow the use of accounting experts in this area.
Meanwhile, in proportion to the total number of expert witness engagements NIFA members undertake, the number of single joint expert (SJE) appointments has also increased, with matrimonial cases dominating this area. Expert determination work is also on the rise, which might be the result of an increase in corporate activity as the economy begins to recover.
Author: Roger Isaacs, 12 May 2017