PracticeAuditMassive rise in demand for forensic accountants

Massive rise in demand for forensic accountants

The raft of new legislation designed to curb fraud has led to a huge increase in workload for fraud experts and a shortage of forensic accountants.

Link: Crime Act fears are unfounded

The new laws passed following last year’s accounting scandals and the anti-money laundering legislation have created a demand for fraud investigation and forensic accounting work.

But forensic accounting departments are struggling to keep up with the workload and are finding it difficult to recruit high-calibre accountants.

BDO Stoy Hayward fraud expert Andrew Durant said the new laws had created more work for his department and a greater need for forensic accountants in the police, as well as in the new Asset Recovery Agency and the Office of Fair Trading.

And Philip Kabraji, national head of forensic services at Grant Thornton, echoed the belief. ‘Various public bodies are looking to recruit forensic accountants because of the Proceeds of Crime Act,’ he said. ‘There will be more work as a consequence of this Act.’

In companies, experts said that the increase in business confidence, the fear of disputes and a renewed awareness of reputational risk had added to the work.

They said that companies were looking at ways to reinforce their control systems and provide an early resolution of conflicts that require forensic accountants.

Adam Bates, head of forensic accounting at KPMG, said his team was often asked to look into black holes in companies and had been involved in investigations into company pension schemes.

But he added that another factor in the shortage was that the forensic accountanting discipline was a relatively new one that requires several years to build up the necessary experience.

‘There are not a huge number of senior forensic experts,’ he said. ‘The quality of people required tends to be very high so that reduces the pool.’

He said that staff turnover in forensics was low. ‘People tend to like the work and stay in their department.’

Kabraji said that at Grant Thornton ‘people are keen to move, but it will take some time to train them to become forensic experts.’

Email Adriana_Zea@vnu.co.uk.

Related Articles

KPMG replaces PwC as Croda auditor

Accounting Firms KPMG replaces PwC as Croda auditor

4d Emma Smith, Managing Editor
EY fined £1.8m over Tech Data audit

Accounting Standards EY fined £1.8m over Tech Data audit

1w Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Top 50+50: Firms post significant growth in new tax and audit rankings

Audit Top 50+50: Firms post significant growth in new tax and audit rankings

2w Emma Smith, Managing Editor
FRC closes KPMG HBOS audit investigation, Treasury Committee expects ‘full explanation’

Accounting Firms FRC closes KPMG HBOS audit investigation, Treasury Committee expects ‘full explanation’

1m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
PwC to audit BBC pay policies following gender pay gap outrage

Accounting Firms PwC to audit BBC pay policies following gender pay gap outrage

2m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
FRC closes investigation into PwC over Barclays compliance

Accounting Firms FRC closes investigation into PwC over Barclays compliance

3w Alia Shoaib, Reporter
KPMG rocked by South African corruption scandal

Audit KPMG rocked by South African corruption scandal

4w Alia Shoaib, Reporter
BDO replaces Deloitte as Mitie auditor

Audit BDO replaces Deloitte as Mitie auditor

1m Emma Smith, Managing Editor