Forensic accountants have to use their investigative skills to locate money, evaluate fair damages, investigating fraud, etc. The biggest challenges they face in practicing forensic accounting and testifying as expert witnesses are varied and sometimes surprising.
We asked a group of forensic accountants what their biggest challenges were and here is how they replied:
- Getting the information and/or documentation from clients – for example, right now on a lost profits case all I have is annual gross profit numbers, but the fire occurred (say) March 1 and so I need monthly gross profit numbers – and getting it – and in a way supportable and provable at trial is problematic.
- Getting my professional associates to do just the right amount of work – not too little and not too much – sometimes they don’t drill down far enough – and sometimes they waste time drilling down on areas that make no sense.
- Getting the client to pay enough time and attention to deposition prep – I over prepare and clients don’t think I should have to spend 24 hours preparing for an eight hour deposition – one retaining counsel however worked with me for eight days solid (even though he ultimately only paid for 4 days) for an eight hour deposition – and I rocked – generally, I find deposition prep and self-study the hardest part of my job – mostly needs too much memorization of issues – I’m now using expert report s more to avoid the memorizations.
- Finding more work – I just don’t have enough work always to support me and the 1.5 staff I work with.
- The deposition itself is always tough – trials are much easier.
- Getting paid. Clients trying to renegotiate payment even after they win at trial and the case is over.
- Scheduling a vacation.
- Scheduling multiple trials in one week, with trial calendars and speed of trials constantly changing.
- Clients trying to renegotiate the scope of work that they want without readjusting the budget.
- Meeting multiple deadlines when all the work bunches up, say just prior to year end.