5 ways attorneys can get the most out of a Forensic Accountant
Many business and matrimonial disputes involve interpreting and simplifying accounting and financial information. Frequently, the use of an expert like a forensic accountant makes that information easy to understand and gives increased credibility to your case. To ensure that you receive the maximum benefit from working with any expert, the key is in how well you communicate your specific expectations and your plan of action. It may seem overly simplistic, but what you tell your expert about the case and the specifics of what you are looking for, the better the final outcome. As forensic accountants and investigators, we at RCT frequently have clients who rush to give us the assignment and can overlook some key elements, instructions or objectives. This results in wasted time and additional expense to the client, not to mention more headaches for you.
Five ways to maximize the use of your expert forensic accountant are as follows:
- Be very specific about the deliverable you expect. What do you need produced and in what form? memorandum of initial finds, just a final report, testimony, affidavit, etc.
- Establish a clear timetable and due dates at the onset. This is easily one of the easiest to do and proves over and over to be a critical element that can often lead to trouble. Don’t forget, as your case calendar changes, be sure to notify your expert so they can adjust their schedule and workflow to keep everything in sync.
- Identify any additional resources that the expert may need. Forensic accountants often have to interview people, request additional documents and in some cases work in conjunction with other experts like appraisers and investigators. Try to identify these people and coordinate their involvement very early on in the process. This will help to keep schedules and deadlines on track.
- Establish a reporting protocol. Establish milestones and criteria on what information should be relayed and to whom. Clarity upfront in this area will reduce wasted time and aggravation.
- Take the time to reduce all of the above to writing and share with everyone involved. The best laid plans prepared on a telephone call will quickly become a convoluted mess, ripe with misunderstandings. It is always best to have a written plan and to memorialize any material changes in writing as well.
At RCT we aim to not only give you expert forensic accounting services but to do so in a manner that is tailored to each specific case and strategy. For more information on ways that RCT can give you an advantage, please contact Robert Tunney or Paul Dank. We look forward to enhancing your case.