The Increasing Role of the Expert Witness


Testifying in a court case as an expert witness is often critical to the outcome of a lawsuit. Forensic accountants are typically called upon to utilize their accounting, investigative, economic, statistical, and research techniques and then apply them to a legal problem. Digging into a case to analyze, audit, and investigate helps to assess the measurement of damages and will often dictate the outcome of said case. The information offered by a forensic accountant called upon as an expert witness aids in complex lawsuits as well as internal investigations.

Forensic accounting is a broad profession and therefore these expert witness are asked to speak on a wide range of topics. Some of the most common work forensic accountant expert witnesses are used for include:

  • Auditing Issues
  • Business Issues
  • Business Valuations
  • Contractual Disputes
  • Customary Operating Procedures in Practice
  • Divorce Settlements
  • Due Diligence
  • Estate Valuations
  • Fraud Investigation
  • Investor Disputes
  • Regulatory Representation
  • Tax Issues
  • Technical Accounting

One of the biggest strengths of an expert witness in forensic accounting is the ability to simplify complex financial issues so that a judge or jury members are better able to understand them. In doing so, information is offered in a clear, concise manner that reveals the facts of the case. Beyond specific industry expertise, forensic accountants are asked to be expert witnesses because of their ethical credibility. Accountants are often viewed as practical, moral people who help to convince the jury or judge of facts in an unbiased fashion.

An expert witness is trusted to blend their accounting, business, academic, and principled experience to make sure that the facts are communicated fairly and with conviction. The court system depends upon the forensic accountant’s role in building a case based on investigated facts and meticulous audits. As a result, the role of a practiced, trusted forensic accountant expert witness enables an effective, fair litigation process.