When Your Business Needs a Forensic Accountant and How to Find the Right One

forensic accounting is very important when trying to stop embezzlement‘Forensic Accountant’ is not a term that many people are familiar with and the word forensic may instantly bring to mind the image of a criminal investigation, which may seem a little odd when connected with accounting. But forensic literally means “relating to the application of scientific knowledge to a legal problem,” or “usable in a court of law.”

A Forensic Accountant might work with a business when fraud or embezzlement is suspected, or with government organizations like the FBI or CIA to resolve a crime. They are financial investigators who decipher complicated financial data such as business records, bank statements and tax return and prepare reports from this information that are more easily understood and can be used in court proceedings.

Forensic accounting is often used to help resolve a wide variety of legal disputes including bankruptcy and divorce proceedings, shareholder disagreements, business dissolutions, malpractice claims as well as fraud and embezzlement.

Benefits of a Forensic Accountant

  • A forensic accountant can be very helpful in collecting evidence in court that may be used to assert a claim or settle a dispute between shareholders and partners or in medical malpractice suits, between the doctor and the patient.
  • If employee fraud is suspected in your business, forensic accounting services are also beneficial.
  • If your business is involved in any type of insurance claim, potential professional negligence or identity theft, engaging the services of a knowledgeable forensic accountant to assist in the investigation can be crucial.

Finding the Right Forensic Accountant

If your business needs the services of this type of accountant, it’s important to realize you can’t just choose any accountant. Choosing the wrong one may be like asking a cardiologist to perform brain surgery. A forensic accountant is typically not just a Certified Public Accountant with an accounting degree, but is a Certified Fraud Examiner. It’s important to be sure that qualified personnel have these designations.

The right accountant will have experience and skills that match the needs of your business and the case at hand, and because the forensic accountant’s work will typically result in giving evidence as an expert witness, it’s crucial that they are credible. The opposing counsel is designed to reveal any flaws in the accountant’s abilities, and there cannot be any question when it comes to their experience, skills, professional and personal background.


How to Find an Accountant

when you need to find an accountant go to goodaccountants.comMany people wait until the last minute, or an emergency, before realizing they need an accountant, but it’s best to be proactive and find an accountant before you’re in desperate need or his or her services. Hiring an accountant can be one of the most important business decisions you’ll have to make, and should not be rushed. Consider all of these important aspects when embarking on your search, and increase your chances of finding the right accountant that you can build a long term relationship with.


Word of mouth is always the best way to find an accountant that is reputable, but preferably, you should ask for a referral from people who are in a similar life situation and have similar financial needs. If you know someone in the profession, but they aren’t suitable for your particular financial situation, they can be an excellent source for finding an accountant who is. Ask lots of questions and find out about the accountant’s performance as well as working style to consider if he or she would be a good fit.


An accountant that needs to advertise may not be the best way to find an accountant unless they are just starting out or recently relocated to a new location. A busy accountant means that they provide good service. If you don’t know anyone personally who can recommend a good accountant, try talking with other business owners in your industry, or your industry association if there is one.

Narrowing the options

Once you have a short list of potential accountants, schedule an initial meeting to compare qualifications, experience and services offered. Meet the accountant at their office or place of work to get the best idea of their professionalism and personality. Personality and work style are both crucial factors for good long term fit. One of the most important questions to ask is, “Why should I use you?” You’ll also want to find out how the accountant calculates their fees.

Be sure to conduct an in-depth interview of each potential candidate. You’ll want a good fit personally and professionally with the accountant that you’ll be entrusting a lot of private information with, and possibly even your life savings. Find out about their life experiences and even hobbies, in addition to their accounting experience.

If you want to find an accountant that is right for your business, it’s important to take the time and ask the right questions in order for your company to truly succeed.


The Benefits of Accounting Firms and How to Find the Right One

finding a good accounting firm is crucial for your businessIf you’re the owner of a business, you may have started out thinking that you could handle the financial side of things on your own, as many entrepreneurs have done. In the beginning, keeping track of the books is fairly simple but as your company grows, trying to run your business while being responsible for taking care of taxes and accounts can quickly become overwhelming, even with accounting software. This is the point where accounting firms can become a crucial part of the success of your business.

With so many accounting firms out there, how do you choose?

First, you’ll need to make a list of the services you plan to use and narrow down your choices to those firms that provide those benefits. Some of the services offered by many include:

  • Basic accounting services including the management of payables and receivables as well as financial reports for banks, investors or internal use.
  • Payroll management as well as payroll preparation and payroll tax reporting.
  • Tax Services, including preparing and filing federal, state and local tax returns. Most accounting firms will also work with you through the year to help minimize your tax burden.
  • If you don’t have a full-charge bookkeeper on staff, the firm should also be able to provide those services for you including maintaining a general journal, reconciling bank statements and analyzing receivables and payables.
  • Many firms will help your business set up appropriate accounting software including implementation and training and provide help if there are issues or questions come up in regard to its use.
  • If your business is audited, the firm can be a huge help in making sure that your financial statements are accurate and complete.

Once you’ve decided which services your business will need, start prioritizing the list from most critical to the least critical. Next, you’ll need to compile a list of accounting firms. You might check the yellow pages, search online, but the best option is a good reference from, family or colleagues who are already using a firm and are happy with the services received.

Look for a firm that specializes in your size of business, with experience in your industry, and is not only reasonably priced, but is able to provide useful advice as well as all of the critical services you need. It’s important that you can trust the firm and can build a long term relationship with the accountant you’ll be working with. Remember to thoroughly check their client references, and don’t commit to a long relationship until you feel comfortable that the firm will be reliable and provide the services your business really needs.


How CFO Services Can Benefit Your Business

CFO services are much needed for any businessWhile the services of a full-time CFO might not fit into the budget of many small businesses at $200,000 a year or more plus benefits, paying a CFO for services as you need them may not only be a lot more affordable, it can be crucial to the long term success of a company.

CFO Services can help a business with Payables, Receivables, Inventory and Cash, making sure it’s done correctly, and accurately project revenue and expenses, map out a financial plan for the future of the business, understand financial reports and properly channel resources.

How do you know if your business can use a CFO?


CFO Services can be one of the most important strategies of any business, and relieve one of the biggest burdens from the company and everyone associated with it. Most companies can use these services at some point during their growth, and it is typically before they are able to add a full time CFO to their staff.

A few of the indicators include:

  • Inventory problems
  • Stressed or weakened relationships with bankers or vendors
  • The acquisition of another business
  • Questions about the integrity of employees
  • Cash flow

If you think your company is too small to use CFO Services, think again. Corporations of all sizes, from the smallest to the largest can benefit from these services. The difference is that smaller companies don’t often need a full time CFO, but one that can work on an as needed basis.

Wide variety of benefits


CFO Services can provide a wide variety of benefits with just a few including:

  • Helping to develop and execute a financial strategy including new or existing plans.
  • Implementing business plans that will help you to set up or meet long term goals.
  • Creating a contingency plan to make sure the business can safely get through customer demand crises or soft markets before it occurs.
  • Providing insight that may help your business achieve greater heights of success.
  • Share their knowledge of proven strategies based on past experience with other companies.

These services can be used as little as a few days a month to a few days a week or even more, assuring that your business runs smoothly with the valuable input of a CFO professional. It can serve to take much of the financial worries away, allowing the business owner to concentrate on the important task of growing the business and watching it succeed.


What to look for when you need to find a Bookkeeper

you need to find a bookkeeper to make sure your business can stay afloatA good bookkeeper is crucial to the success of any business. If your company’s financial data is not managed correctly it could even spell disaster. You need to find a bookkeeper who can be relied upon and has the training and experience in order to do the job right.

Hiring someone who is not right for the job can be worse than hiring no one at all. Some business owners try to save money by doing their own bookkeeping or hiring an inexperienced member of their staff, such as a receptionist do their bookkeeping, without understanding the damaging impact it can have on the business.

A small mistake can be easy to make, especially by an inexperienced bookkeeper, and can ultimately lead to a huge expense farther down the road when someone else has to come in to try to make sense of the books.

To avoid a financial nightmare for your business, what should you look for if you want to find a bookkeeper who will do the job right?

Knowledge and experience

While a good bookkeeper does not need to have degree in accounting, they should have completed some formal coursework in bookkeeping or have been certified from an institution like the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.

Of course there is no substitute for real world experience; the best way to find out how they’ll perform in a bookkeeping position for your business is to speak with one of their former employers or a past client about their past performance.


The best bookkeepers are detail oriented, well organized, analytical, and have good time management skills. During an interview, ask the candidate for an example of how his/her attention to detail has specifically helped him or her get the job done in the past.

Pay attention to their body language during the interview as well. If they seem frazzled and anxious or disorganized, they might not be the right person for the job.


It won’t help you to find a bookkeeper if that person isn’t available to commit the time your business needs. The bookkeeper should be available and dependable.


It’s imperative that the bookkeeper have good communication skills and not be afraid to hold you accountable for any discrepancies that might arise. They should be assertive enough that if they have any doubts about a deposit, check or other financial transaction, they’ll be able to question you about it to be certain that it is categorized or coded correctly.

By asking the right questions, you’ll be much more likely to find a bookkeeper who will do the job right, and increase the chances of success for your business.