Forensic accounting

Practitioners in this field are trained to prepare financial information for a court of law, and to assess whether the numbers add up with reality.

In Brief

  • Our network of Forensic Accountants share valuable insights and new initiatives.
  • The discipline is governed by standards reviewed by our experienced and active committee.
  • Forensic Accountants can pursue the Business Valuation specialisation which may help them to enhance their industry recognition.

What is forensic accounting?

Forensic accountants are highly skilled in analysing and preparing financial information for a court of law. It's a field that requires a combination of accounting, auditing and investigative skills.

Accountants in this field of work will typically be engaged to review financial records and information in a post-acquisition dispute, economic damages, calculations bankruptcy and computer forensics.

Business valuations, insolvency and fraud issues can also typically require the skills of a forensic accountant.

While not all cases may lead to formal litigation, Forensic Accountants are required to produce information to a standard that would be suitable for use in a court of law.

The standards related this field are set by the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB). All engagements or assignments that commenced on or after 1 July 2009 are governed by APES 215 - Forensic Accounting Services.

This standard applies to accountants working in the corporate sector and in government.

Join this exciting field

The CA Forensic Accounting Specialisation launches in 2018

Register your interest

Ways to get involved

As a member you can stay up to date by subscribing to the quarterly Forensic Accounting Community Newsletter, as well as state-wide events for forensic accountants throughout the year, and a national event every two years.

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Members based in New Zealand can also join local special interest groups that provide regular opportunities to share knowledge through meetings and conferences.

Join a NZ special interest group

Network with other members in your field of interest

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Our Forensic Accounting Committee

The Chartered Accountants ANZ Forensic Accounting Committee is made up of highly experienced members who:

  • Contribute to submissions related to forensic accounting
  • Help develop the Forensic Accounting Conference
  • Lead the organisation at the forensic accounting state networking events
  • Drive relevant conversations related to forensic accountancy in our member networks and at conferences

Meet our Committee

  • Mark Thompson CA

    Mark is the Director of Insurance Services division of Vincents Chartered Accountants.He previously worked at Price Waterhouse Coopers in their corporate finance division.

    Mark has experience in insurance litigation, commercial disputes and fraud investigations and has prepared expert accounting reports in the Supreme and Federal Courts of Australia and overseas.

  • Martin White CA

    Martin is a consultant to Morris Forensic, a boutique forensic accounting and business valuation practice based in Adelaide.  Prior to that, Martin was a Director in Nexia Edwards Marshall’s forensic accounting division.

    Martin specialises in financial investigations and the provision expert opinions in respect of economic loss and audit negligence claims.  Martin’s roles have included being appointed as the court expert and as a shadow expert.  He has experience working on matters in all Australian jurisdictions, most commonly the Supreme or Federal Courts.

    Martin is also a business valuation specialist and provides valuation opinions in the Family Court and in respect of commercial dealings or disputes.Martin holds qualifications in accounting, law and finance.

  • Matthew Ashby CA

    Matthew is a Partner of McGrathNicol, specialising in dispute advisory (including expert witness and consulting expert roles), investigations and business valuations.

    Prior to joining McGrathNicol, Matthew led the Queensland forensic accounting practice of another chartered accounting firm and previously held roles up to Director level in the forensic accounting, corporate finance and corporate recovery practices of KPMG in Brisbane and Perth.

    Matthew is accredited by CA ANZ as a CA Forensic Accounting Specialist and a CA Business Valuation Specialist. He has been the Queensland forensic accounting chair at CA ANZ since 2016 and was a member of CA ANZ’s Queensland Public Practice Panel from 2016 to 2018.

  • Christine Oliver CA

    With a background in audit and assurance, Christine regularly provides plain-English advice to clients on the application of complex accounting (IFRS and GAAP) and auditing standards, particularly in a litigation context. Using this expertise, Christine has provided advice in relation to post-transaction disputes and class actions.  Christine has also provided advice on auditor negligence.

    Christine has extensive experience as an investigating accountant and consultant, performing detailed reviews of ASX-listed entities, large private companies and not-for-profit entities in relation to financial capacity, fraud, risk management, corporate governance and solvency. Christine has prepared expert’s reports in a large number of legal proceedings in a variety of commercial contexts, including the analysis of complex financial transactions and loss assessments. 

  • Callum Hey CA

    Callum is a Senior Manager in the Technology Risk unit at Westpac New Zealand Limited. In this role he is leading engagements with regulators and supporting transformation initiatives in the technology risk management team.

    Callum is a forensic accountant with 15 years of experience in the field. He commenced his career with Inland Revenue and specialised in criminal investigations into tax evasion and other types of financial crime. As a Team Leader at Inland Revenue he established a specialist criminal investigation team and worked alongside the National Fraud Portfolio holder in managing and implementing a range of responses to tax fraud. He also conducted a review of Inland Revenue’s intelligence capability and supported the national Hidden Economy programme as an advisor to the National Manager responsible. Callum has spent time working at Deloitte (Forensic Services) in Melbourne and also as the Manager of Market Conduct Supervision Frameworks at Trustees Executors.

    Through his career Callum has run significant and complex financial investigations, directed the execution of numerous search warrants, successfully prosecuted a range of offenders and conducted evidential interviews using a range of enhanced cognitive interviewing techniques. Callum has also spoken on criminal procedure and investigating financial crime at a range of forums, including the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators’ Compliance Management Development Programmes.

    Callum is a Chartered Accountant, an Associate Certified Fraud Examiner and holds a Master’s degree in Forensic Accounting.

  • Sarah Thorburn CA
    Sarah is a Director in the Perth Forensic practice of Deloitte. Sarah is a qualified Chartered Accountant who specialises in complex forensic accounting, expert consulting for litigation support and the preparation of independent expert reports in litigation matters including quantification of loss and damage, sale and purchase agreement disputes and family law property settlements. Sarah also specialises in employment matters through the provision payroll data analytics in matters before the Fair Work Commission, and has experience in conducting investigations and contract compliance examinations.
  • Adam Giliberti CA

    Adam began focusing on forensic accounting work full time since in 2000, after initially working in tax and personal injury litigation.  His early career as a full-time forensic accountant included working in the United Kingdom as an in-house forensic accountant for a government department and then in Ernst & Young.  Upon returning to Australia in 2006, Adam spent time working for a number of litigation consulting divisions within large firms before deciding to set up and build his own public accounting practice, called AVG Forensic.

    Adam looks forward to promoting the Forensic Accounting Specialisation to the legal market who have their own accredited specialists in different areas of law as they will see significant value in CA ANZ’s recognition of Forensic Accounting Specialists.

More information

For more information on this and other issued standards visit the APESB site

Find out more