Dennis S. Neier, CPA

American Express Tax and Business Services, Inc.

Margaret R. Kolb, CPA

American Express Tax and Business Services, Inc.

This chapter has been updated from the previous edition by the Editors.


Forensic accounting can broadly be defined as the application of accounting principles, theories, and discipline to facts and hypotheses at issue in a legal context. This legal context is generally litigation, but any dispute resolution proceeding (e.g., arbitration or mediation) is a candidate for the application of forensic accounting. Litigation consulting services involve any professional assistance nonlawyers provide to lawyers in the litigation process in connection with pending or potential formal legal or regulatory proceedings before a trier of fact in connection with the resolution of a dispute between two or more parties. A trier of fact is a court, regulatory body, or government authority; their agents; a grand jury; or an arbitrator of a dispute. Litigation consulting services include the application of specialized disciplines to the issues involved in a matter in order to express an expert opinion that would help the trier of fact reach an informed conclusion.

Forensic accounting and litigation consulting services apply to both civil and criminal litigation. The principal focus of this chapter will be civil litigation because it is by far the most frequent dispute resolution proceeding ...

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