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.

Subscribe to FA Community Newsletter

Request this through Communication Preferences in your profile

Login now

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

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

  • Dawna Wright CA

    Dawna began her specialisation in forensic accounting when she moved to New York, where she lived for three years before moving to Australia in 2001.

    She has over 20 years' experience in auditing and forensic accounting, including several years as a partner leading the Victorian Forensic practice with Deloitte, and five years as a forensic partner at McGrathNicol.

    She is now building an Australian forensic practice for global firm FTI Consulting.

  • Mark Butterfield FCA

    Mark is a Director at Halligan & Co, a specialist forensic accounting and business valuation practice in Sydney.

    Prior to joining Halligan & Co in 2009, Mark was a Sydney partner and national director of the corporate advisory division of PKF (now BDO), and in the 22 years  to 2003 held various positions up to Director level in the corporate finance, valuation, and forensic accounting practices of Price Waterhouse and its successor firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, in Sydney.

    Mark’s forensic accounting experience includes matters concerning commercial loss and damage, insurance claims, tax, family law, personal injury, and accounting investigations. He has provided expert forensic accounting opinions in various jurisdictions in Australia, Singapore, and Thailand and has given expert witness testimony in Australia and the Bankruptcy Court of Thailand.

    Mark is a CA Business Valuation Specialist and served on the inaugural national committee of the Institute’s Business Valuation Special Interest Group between 2004 and 2009.

  • 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 has broad commercial experience and currently specialises in financial investigations, quantification of loss and business valuations.

    Martin is principal of Morris Forensic, a firm providing expert accounting and valuation services in connection with litigation and dispute resolution.

    Along with a team of experts Martin works alongside the specialist forensic accounting personnel of Edwards Marshall.

  • Ian Katz CA

    Ian is a Senior Manager in the Perth Ernst & Young Forensic practise with more than 20 years’ experience across a number of industries, both in the private and public sectors locally and overseas.

    Ian previously worked for Deloitte Consulting in Africa, servicing private and government sectors. He also spent 12 years in a number of finance and accounting roles across several industries in Africa, developing a special interest in financial process, probity and control improvement.

  • Matthew Ashby CA

    Matthew is a Partner and leader of Ferrier Hodgson’s forensic practice in Queensland.

    As a forensic specialist, Matthew’s advice to clients, their legal advisers and the courts helps to resolve high stakes disputes and address business challenges associated with fraud and other non-compliant behaviour. Prior to joining Ferrier Hodgson in 2014, Matthew held positions up to Director level in the forensic, corporate finance and corporate recovery practices of KPMG in Brisbane and Perth.

    He is accredited as a CA Business Valuation specialist by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. Matthew is the Queensland Forensic Accounting Chair and a member of the Queensland Public Practice Panel for Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

More information

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

Find out more