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 My CA. The newsletter will also keep you informed about upcoming events and conferences.

Login to My CA to subscribe

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

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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 regional networking events
  • Drive relevant conversations related to forensic accountancy in our member networks and at conferences

Meet our Committee

  • Christine Oliver CA

    Christine is chair of the Forensic Accounting committee. 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. 

  • 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

    Bill is a chartered accountant with twenty-nine years of post-professional qualification experience and over twenty-six years of experience of practicing corporate finance. Bill is accredited by Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand as both a Business Valuation Specialist and a Forensic Accounting Specialist.

    Bill undertakes business and share valuations, transaction advisory services, financial investigations and economic loss assessments and has provided evidence in matters proceeding before the Federal Court of Australia, the High Court of New Zealand, the District Court, Family Court and various tribunals (including the Customs Appeal Authority and Land Valuation Tribunal) as well as in other dispute resolution forums, such as arbitration and mediation.

    Bill has sector experience in:

    • Telecommunications
    • Primary sector
    • Construction
    • Manufacturing
    • FMCG

  • Ian Wigg CA

    Ian is a Chartered Accountant (over 25 years' experience) and is accredited by CA ANZ as a Forensic Accounting and Business Valuation Specialist.

    As a partner at Clifton Hall (Adelaide), Ian focuses on the provision of forensic accounting services across a range of commercial, matrimonial, personal injury, insurance and other disputes. His work frequently involves quantification of loss, business valuation and financial investigation in both expert witness and consulting expert capacities.

    Ian’s prior roles include five years as the General Manager and Joint Company Secretary of an ASX listed property trust as well as senior positions for international and ‘Big 4’ accounting firms in forensics, insolvency and business services.

  • Natasha Milne CA

    As a CA ANZ accredited Forensic Accounting Specialist and Business Valuation Specialist, Natasha helps lawyers get to the crux of financial issues in disputes, particularly in commercial litigation, insurance, family law and estate matters. Natasha is a Director in the Forensic Services division at Vincents, preparing expert reports and providing expert witness and consulting expert services.

    Natasha regularly provides training and presentations to solicitors, accountants and other professionals on a range of accounting, forensic accounting, business valuation and assessment of damages topics. She is also a guest lecturer in the forensic accounting courses at the Queensland University of Technology.

    Natasha has 19 years' experience in the accounting industry, with the past 14 years specialising in forensic accounting, litigation support services and business valuation. Prior to this, she practised in taxation and business services. Natasha was the winner of the Australian Accounting Awards Accounting Consultant of the Year 2021.
  • 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.

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