Forensic Accountants Aid Settlement – 9 January 2014
Forensic accountants often only make the headlines when they uncover vast amounts of hidden money, such as when they pulled £45m of assets out of bankrupt former tycoon Scot Younger’s ‘hat’ in his bitter divorce hearing. However, when two parties fail to reach an agreement in a commercial dispute, which could be anything from a disagreement over share issues to a family-owned business disagreement, the forensic accountant can be used to arbitrate and analyse evidence without recourse to the legal system.
They do this by gathering the financial evidence, preparing a clear, well-structured report for their client and discussing their findings with the opposing side’s expert. In settlement negotiations, laying out the merits of the case clearly from both the legal and quantum perspectives and being able to argue persuasively from a position of knowledge, are vital if all positions are to be best served.
The forensic accountants will provide all the analysis and advice to their clients, allowing them to understand the financial and loss issues and plan and execute the appropriate settlement strategies. Using sophisticated software programmes, they can effectively capture, sort, analyse and produce evidence in a variety of different formats for their clients, from the full range of electronic media and platforms to bespoke operating systems.
When clients find they cannot reach an amicable agreement, forensic accountants can still help, as they provide expert witnesses for every level of court proceedings and can assist in moving proceedings towards a swifter conclusion.
Author: Roger Isaacs, 9 January 2014
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