Guest Author - Consuelo Herrera, CAMS, CFE
What employers expect from forensic accountants is an array of personality traits, educational background, and professional credentials. An excellent way to describe what a forensic accountant can deliver to his or her team is incorporated in a job description of an international consulting firm.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
o Performs and supervises detailed fact finding, research and analysis
o Directs and develops computer models including detailed and potentially complex spreadsheet analysis
o Supervises and conducts data gathering activities including document review and supervision, and quality control of data entry activities
o Supervises appropriate personnel including consultants, client personnel, clerical support, and others as appropriate.
o Responsible for engagement planning
o Prepares client communications for senior level review
o Coordinates administrative functions including time tracking and bill preparation
o Active Mentor to Consultants.
This combination of knowledge and skills grants a candidate that fits this profile the opportunity of earn over a $100,000 a year. Qualifications are achievable by those who had already earned the Certified Public Accountant license, CPA. These requirements although taking into consideration academic performance also emphasize personality strengths. For instance, this company seeks profiles of people-oriented candidates with managerial skills able to deal with difficult staff. A powerful trait is to be dependable and independent. Engagements need to be completed in a timely manner and, in a professional and accurate manner.
Ideal candidates will also possess the following:
o Strong academic record
o CPA certification or currently a CPA candidate
o Strong analytical and critical thinking abilities
o Effective oral and written communication skills
o Excellent interpersonal skills
o Strong project management skills
o Pro-active, self-motivated, and dependable; because of the uniqueness of each engagement these characteristics are a must.
This firm prides itself of combining deep industry expertise and integrated solutions to assist companies and their legal counsel in enhancing stakeholder value, improving operations, and addressing the challenges of uncertainty, risk and significant business model change. The ultimate goal of an accountant is to enhance the stakeholders'earnings.
Many fields where forensic accountants can excel are government agencies. For instance, the IRS, the FBI, and the SEC. In the private sector the opportunities range from internal control and policies assessments to regulatory compliance. This firm portrays its professional services as follows:
Dispute resolution, investigation, operational and business advisory, risk management and regulatory advisory, and transaction advisory solutions. These services are common to almost every consult firm. They adjust their portfolio to suit their customers' needs.
Almost each company focuses on industries undergoing substantial regulatory or structural change. Companies are overwhelmed with reporting and compliance requirements depending on the type of corporation. Public companies must be in compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and, all the guidelines and ruling imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC. Forensic accountants that are familiar with COSO and OFAC regulations may enhance their earnings by delivering services to companies that require international agencies compliance.
Consulting engagements include: forensic accounting and whistleblower investigations, consulting on complex accounting and financial reporting matters, mergers and acquisitions due diligence and purchase price disputes, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations, FCPA, Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance, business process reviews and risk assessments, government contracting and regulatory compliance (contract claims and disputes, indirect rate calculations, and incurred cost submissions, etc.) and litigation support.
An accountant with a global mindset is an accountant who has the ability to work with multinational companies and their legal counsel across various industries. It also means, being mindful of cultural differences and being available for international travel. Being proficient in a second language would be a plus for a candidate.