Here at DLA, some of our top clients include forensic auditors, as they require our digital forensic services for their forensic audits. But what exactly is a forensic audit and what does it mean?
Read on to explore and find out what a forensic audit is, when they are used and how they are used in court…
A forensic audit may sound like something quite exciting that you’ve probably heard on crime dramas like CSI and Law and Order, but the truth is, it is a little more boring.
A forensic audit is the process of reviewing person’s or companies financial statements to determine if they are correct and lawful. Forensic accounting is most commonly associated with tax audits, but can also be commissioned by private companies for digital forensic investigations.
So, when are forensic audits used? Forensic audits are used wherever an entity’s finances present a legal concern. For example, it is used in cased of suspected embezzlement, fraud, to investigate a spouse during divorce proceedings and so much more. This is where digital forensics comes in; our services are specifically designed to help forensic auditors in these cases.
Forensic audits are performed by a class of professionals with skills in both criminology and accounting, so they specialize in following a money trail, keeping track of fraudulent and actual balance sheets and checking for mistakes in income reports and expenditures. If they find any discrepancies, it may be the forensic auditor’s job to investigate and determine the reason for it, with the help of a digital investigator if digital evidence is needed!
How are forensic audits used in court? They are presented as evidence by a prosecutor or by a lawyer representing an interested party. Because finance is so complicated, the way a forensic auditor will describe a company’s financial position is often very precise. Because of this a prosecutor or lawyer will call an expert witness to explain the forensic audit in simpler terms in order to build a case.
Forensic audits cover a wide range of activities, and they can be a part of many different investigations, digital forensic investigations being one of them.