Many CPAs work in traditional, public accounting firms. They may spend their time in audit, consulting or tax over the years. Many accounting firms have separate tax, audit, consulting, management departments. There is little cross-training. Accounting professionals in smaller firms are often involved in multiple engagements over the course of a year. These may include compilation work in addition to tax season. Compilation can help small businesses with all aspects of their financial accounting. It can be used for cost accounting as well as financial statements preparation. A variety of discover more general accounting roles are available for companies that employ other accountants. If the accountant is in his first year of his career, he almost always reports to another CPA. Some people have the experience of working in both private as public accounting.
From a technical point of view, the transition to forensic accounting is fairly simple. There are many skills to master, but CPA’s with at least a few years of experience can learn them all. Many forensic accountants are joking when they tell you that their passion for expert witnesses came from the grind of their previous accounting career. Many people enjoy the physical as well as mental challenges that a deposition presents. It’s like practicing family law as an expert witness. There are no two days alike. All clients, lawyers, issues have their unique characteristics. This distinction makes expert witnessing a very special profession.
CPAs may continue to audit or tax their businesses while building their forensic accounting firms. Many CPAs will work part-time when they are ready for expert witness or business valuation. Expert witnessing may be combined with business value. These universes can be quite different. One important distinction is the fact that business valuation extends beyond the realm of CPA’s. Many organizations have business valuation experts. CPAs are the majority of expert witness accountings. Experts build relationships over time with a core group of lawyers. A core group that includes 20 prominent litigators frequently calls on the forensic accounting to provide expert testimony services. Growing your family-law practice is similar to growing a family practice. You can use assignments from other CPA’s to make more money. Accountants aren’t fond of marketing services. This is something that many people do poorly. American Bar Association meetings host expert witnesses who have proven successful in their fields. Forensic accountant professionals often send mail inviting lawyers to lunches. They also advertise.