Chapter 5

When and Why to Call in Forensic Accounting Investigators

Darren J. Tapp and W. McKay (Mac) Henderson

Chapter 3 discusses the many differences between the work of the forensic accounting investigator and the work of the financial statement auditor. A key question in any audit that identifies indicia of possible fraud is: When should the auditor, external or internal, consider reaching out for the forensic accounting investigator? Determining that when is the focus of this chapter.

Many forensic accounting investigators would take the position that the typical financial statement auditor may wait too long before calling in the forensic accounting investigator. But no savvy auditor reading these words will fail to notice the possibility of bias in the statement; after all, this book is written by a team of forensic accounting investigators. And so, part of the aim of this chapter is to demonstrate that the decision regarding when to call in the forensic accounting investigator can and must be viewed in an objective light. Before proceeding further, readers might find it helpful to review Chapter 1, in which we introduced the concept of using forensic accounting investigators on audits when suspicions arise.

The thoughtful and efficient use of forensic accounting investigators often offers the right balance between conducting routine audits and investigating for possible fraud. A predicate must exist before an investigation is undertaken. A predicate is the totality of ...

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