I spend lots of time telling people what I do in my role as a forensic accountant. Put simply, I do fraud investigations (often for the victim, but sometimes the accused hires me), divorce financial analysis, and damages calculations for insurance and litigation matters.
But sometimes I find it’s fun (and necessary!) to talk about what I do NOT do. Here are a few things I don’t do:
- Use illegal or unethical techniques to get information. I’m sorry that your soon-to-be ex-husband is a scumbag. I’m still not going to try to break into online accounts, pretend to be someone I’m not to get information, or otherwise violate all sorts of #ethics to get you the information you want or need.
- Provide therapy sessions. Most of the clients that I work with are upset, and with good reason. Someone has stolen from them. They’re going through a stressful divorce. They’re involved in expensive and time-consuming litigation. These are all very stressful. But I’m not a therapist. I’ll try to be understanding and considerate, but I have to draw a line.
- Business valuations. A lot of forensic accountants do business valuations… the kind of thing where you need to know the current value of a business if it was to be sold today. I just don’t do that. I’m not qualified to give an opinion on the value of a business and I’m not up on all the methods and standards that are used to do it. It’s just never been a part of my practice.