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.

Forensic Accounting professionals can participate in state-wide events throughout the year and a national event every two years.

Join this exciting field

Become a CA Forensic Accounting Specialist to gain formal recognition of your skills, knowledge and experience. The specialisation program offers two pathways to entry through Post-Graduate study or an online course to support members at all stages of their career.

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Forensic Accounting Training Modules

Forensic Accounting and the Legal System

This is a great opportunity for Chartered Accountants to consolidate their knowledge of:

  • Structure and key characteristics of the legal systems
  • Differentiation between litigation and common methods of alternative dispute resolution methods
  • Key steps and concepts involved in civil, criminal and administrative procedure
  • Aspects of the law of evidence relevant to forensic accounting engagements
  • Legal, ethical and professional obligations relevant to Chartered Accountants performing forensic accounting engagements.

This module is available now. Register your interest below.

Investigations

This is a great opportunity for Chartered Accountants to consolidate their knowledge of:

  • Preparation an investigation plan
  • Issues relevant to properly obtaining and handling evidence
  • Potential evidence sources and assess relevance
  • Appraisal of investigation reports and issues related to their preparation and use.

This module is available now. Register your interest below.

Loss and Damage

This is a great opportunity for Chartered Accountants to consolidate their knowledge of:

  • Legal principles relevant to the quantification of damages
  • Techniques commonly used in the quantification of damages
  • Differentiation between damages and other financial remedies
  • Considerations related to the specialised areas of insurance and family law disputes
  • Appraisal of expert reports and issues related to their preparation and use.

This module is available now. Register your interest below.

Forensic Accounting and the Court

This is a great opportunity for Chartered Accountants to consolidate their knowledge of:

  • Role of the forensic accountant in the courtroom or tribunal
  • Traditional and modern procedures for adducing evidence in court or other forum.
  • Courtroom etiquette and factors relevant to effective courtroom communication.
  • Special nature of quasi-judicial roles such as Special Referees, Court-appointed experts and expert determinations.

This module is available now. Register your interest below.

Subscribe to FA Community Newsletter

As a member you can stay up to date by subscribing to the quarterly Forensic Accounting Community Newsletter. Login to MyCA and update. The newsletter will also keep you informed about upcoming events and conferences.

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Tools and resources - useful links

Join a NZ special interest group

Members based in New Zealand can also join the Auckland special interest groups that provides regular opportunities to share knowledge through meetings and conferences. Network with other members in your field of interest

Learn more


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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • Sarah Thorburn CA

    Sarah is the lead Partner of 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 financial and misconduct 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.

  • Bill Apps CA

More information

For more information on the field of Forensic Accounting and other issued standards visit the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board website.

Find out more

CA Library

From technical books explaining forensic accounting processes to a short history of sensational scams and financial fraud, CA Library has a huge variety of eBooks, audiobooks and articles on the fascinating field of forensic accounting and fraud. To get you started, check out this reading list of resources from CA Library, all of which are part of your CA membership.

READ MORE AT CA LIBRARY