Although you might be happy with how your business is running and find yourself making great profits – sometimes you get the sense that something isn’t quite right. But it is notoriously hard to spot dodgy dealings in your books if you’re not the one dealing with them. So how do you know when it’s time to call in the experts and hire a forensic accountant to take care of your uneasy feelings?
There are so many reasons why you might suspect that your accounts need investigating. It can be as simple as suspecting incompetence of your CFO, even if you don’t have any specific incidents or numbers you can point to. On the other hand, you may have very solid reasons to suspect malfeasance – any of which are good grounds to call in a forensic accountant. Here are our top three reasons that should have you picking up the phone right away.
- Unexplained losses
Seeing losses in the accounts which can’t be explained when followed up is the biggest red flag that something is badly wrong, and possibly indicates theft by your employee.
- Consistently incorrect dates
This is fairly obvious, but surprisingly easy to miss. However if you do pick up on consistently incorrect dates being placed with reported revenue, make sure you follow it up.
- Evasive answers
If you notice something you think doesn’t seem quite right in your books, and receive evasive or muddled answers when you bring it up, this may be a sign to look into it further. Everything in accounting should be able to be backed up by a paper trail; if the trail can’t be provided, something is off.
Whatever your reason for suspicion, trust your instincts and make sure you follow up on any leads and investigate thoroughly – it will come to light sooner or later, and the sooner it’s caught with forensic accounting the less likely your company is to get caught up in any fraud allegations and have its reputation damaged.
How can forensic accountants help?
While a stereotypically dull word like accounting sitting next to a word like ‘forensic’ seems unlikely, forensic accounting is every bit as useful in uncovering wrongdoing as forensics at a crime scene.
If you’re suspicious that your accounts are compromised, this type of in depth investigation will uncover the truth. Once fraud becomes noticeable, it’s usually been going on for a significant amount of time – and it will take an expert eye to get to the bottom of it.
Once all the evidence has been gathered, it can be used to clear your company of responsibility and help you to determine how much money you are owed by the fraudulent individual.
Detecting fraud is not easy – but once you have noticed it, you’ve got to get to the bottom of it – and call in the forensic accounting services.