Our Forensic accounting team advise on the financial aspects of fraud, accounting and insolvency investigations. We can be appointed to represent a claimant or defendant as adviser or expert witness.

Typically, we are appointed to identify or confirm suspicions or to quantify the financial impact of fraud, undertaking our investigations in a discrete and timely manner to allow our clients to promptly understand the situation and decide on how best to resolve or progress the matter.

Where a business continues to trade we also advise on the internal controls that can be implemented to avoid fraud in the future. In insolvency related investigations, we consider issues of misfeasance, preferential treatment of creditors and other events, including timing that may have led to a company becoming insolvent.

Fraud & accounting investigations

We act in a range of fraud and accounting investigation cases for businesses, insurers and not for profit entities. We investigate cases of suspected fraud, quantify losses in cases of known fraud and provide advice on fraud prevention.

Unfortunately, many frauds result in an underpayment of corporation tax, for example where expenses have been overstated with payments instead being received by the individual committing fraud. Through good working relationships with the tax authorities, we can assist clients in negotiating both the quantum and timing of settlement of any underpaid tax arising from a fraud.

We use software to convert hard copy financial information to an electronic format. This enables us to analyse large quantities of complex data, presenting our findings in a format to suit your needs including summary tables, brief reports or expert reports compliant with the Civil or Criminal Procedure Rules as necessary. We apply our experience to ensure that our work is clear and concise so that it can be easily understood by a judge or jury as applicable.

Top tips for preventing employee fraud.

Case examples:

Fraudulent expenses

Quantifying the amount of expenses fraudulently claimed by a company director operating overseas through various means, including claiming for excessive expenses, personal expenditure and travel to meetings which were not attended over a period of two years. The director had been able to fraudulently claim expenses due to the piecemeal submission of claims. The client needed evidence of the actions of the director promptly due to an upcoming employment tribunal hearing and we were able to provide details and quantum within 4 days of being engaged.

Employee fraud

Fraud investigation into an employee fraud at an owner-managed business. Funds in the region of £500k were misappropriated from the business over a four year period when the bookkeeper forged cheques and changed electronic supplier bank details to her own. Our work was used by the police in bringing charges against the bookkeeper.

Director fraud

Quantifying the amount of expenses fraudulently claimed by a company director through various means including claiming for expenditure incurred on the company credit card, submitting the same expense claim twice and claiming for personal expenditure. The fraud claim was brought as a counterclaim in the context of a shareholder dispute and our work assisted the parties to settle the claim on a drop hands basis.

Suspicions of fraud by charity CEO

Appointed by the trustees of a charity to investigate the actions of the CEO of a charity suspected of misusing charity assets. We were also instructed to recommend a number of internal procedures that should be implemented by the trustees as a result of our review of the charity’s processes.

Insolvency litigation, investigations & expert witness services

Our Forensic accounting team is appointed on behalf of office holders including insolvency practitioners and directors in the context of insolvency litigation. We draw on our extensive experience of fraud and accounting investigations, asset tracing and expert witness work when appointed in connection with insolvency litigation. Our breadth of forensic experience is helpful in analysing transactions relating to claims brought by insolvency practitioners against company directors under section 212 of the Insolvency Act 1986.

When a company becomes financially distressed, the actions of directors (both current and past) typically come under intense scrutiny when the appointed insolvency practitioners look to assess whether any action should be brought against the company’s past or current directors in order to recover value for the benefit of the company’s creditors and/or shareholders.

We can investigate transactions undertaken by a company in the period leading up to its financial distress in order to assist office holders (both insolvency practitioners and directors) and/or their respective legal advisers with actions brought in relation to the preferential treatment of creditors, transactions at an undervalue, wrongful trading and/or misfeasance.

We combine our experience of asset tracing exercises with our understanding of many different accounting systems in insolvency litigation to identify whether financial information in relation to transactions has been preserved as part of the insolvency process. We can also advise on what documentation is required in order to prove or disprove claims brought under the Insolvency Act 1986.

Case examples:

Claim by the liquidator of the service provider

Appointed in an advisory capacity to review the accounting records of a public sector trust acquiring services under long term contracts in order to determine the financial position with its service provider on termination of the contract. The service provider had gone into administration and the liquidator was claiming that various amounts were owned by the trust to the service provider. Our analysis identified that the service provider had in fact been overpaid in respect of some services and assisted the trust to negotiate a settlement with the liquidator.

Date of insolvency

Appointed as a single joint expert to conclude on the date upon which a company was insolvent, the extent to which the actions of the director may have contributed to the financial downturn of the company and the position of the director’s loan account at the date of insolvency. We were able to confirm that, while the director had not misused company funds, he had prejudiced the creditors of the company by extracting funds to repay directors’ loans after the point at which the company was insolvent. The case settled after the report was issued.

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