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  • 04May

    By James Hyland & Co.,

    0,881 ,

    Have you ever come across ‘forensic accountant’ and wondered what exactly does one do?

    Well, you have come to the right place.

    Here at James Hyland and Company, we have an experienced team of forensic accountants in Cork who can help you in a number of ways.

    Forensic accounting utilises accounting, auditing and investigative skills to conduct an examination into the finances of an individual or business.

    Forensic accounting provides an accounting analysis suitable to be used in legal proceedings.

    Meanwhile, forensic accountants are trained to look beyond the numbers and deal with the business reality of a given situation. They examine data to determine where missing money has gone and how to recover it.

    They then present reports of their financial findings as evidence during hearings and they often testify as expert witnesses. Their work serves a very important purpose in public accounting,

    So, how can a forensic accountant help you?

    Unlike general accountants who sometimes work for individuals, forensic accountants work with consulting firms and solicitors 

    However, the role an accountant plays with each can vary depending on the setting and the issue at hand. Each deals with money in different ways.

    Some forensic accountants work on broader cases while others work in specific fields such as insurance or public accounting.

    What does a forensic accountant do in their work?

    A forensic accountant will carry out what is called an audit.

    In an audit, there are three areas of focus.

    These include investigation, reporting and litigation.

    An investigation will see the accountant collect evidence when fraud suspicions exist. Using the information gathered, they will form a hypothesis as to what happened and create a follow-up plan.

    Reporting takes place after the investigation. Once the fraud is determined, the accountant decides how to handle the case and suggests the next steps to be taken.

    Finally, litigation involves the forensic accountant participating as an expert witness. They present their findings in court and testify against the offending party.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact James Hyland and Company at (021) 480 6346 or email 

    Read more: Meet the team

  • 08Mar

    By James Hyland & Co.,

    0,1085 ,

    A forensic audit is an analysis and inspection of a company’s financial records or an individual. 

    It aims to extract facts that can then be used in a court of law. 

    Forensic auditing is a speciality in the accounting industry and requires experience in accounting, auditing, and knowledge of the legal framework. 

    A forensic audit covers a wide range of investigative activities, from fraud to embezzlement. It also covers situations such as divorces, bankruptcy and business closures. 

    The reasons for a forensic audit

    Compared to a routine audit, a forensic audit will possibly use evidence gathered in court, and the audit can also move to expose illegal activities. 

    However, like a traditional audit, there is a large amount of planning, reporting and evidence accumulation, but the possibility of a court appearance is a crucial difference. 

    How does it work?

    A forensic audit will usually look something like this: 

    Investigation Planning

    Auditor and team will plan the investigation to meet final goals, which can include: 

    -Identifying what fraud, if any, is being carried out

    -Determining the period during which the fraud took place

    -Unearthing how the fraud was hidden

    -Quantifying the loss suffered to the parties involved 

    Evidence Collection

    The next step is to gather as much evidence as needed. There should be enough to identify perpetrators and other details related to the situation, and the evidence must be precise enough for the court to understand the fraud. 


    A written report will need to be collated and given to the client. If they wish, they can then continue to file a legal case. The information must include:

    -The findings of the investigation

    -A summary of the evidence collected throughout 

    -Suggests for preventing similar occurrences in the future

    Legal Proceedings

    If it comes to this stage, the forensic investigator will act as an expert witness in a courtroom. They must explain the evidence clearly and tell the court how it was found in layman’s terms. 

    This ensures that those with no prior knowledge of legal or accounting language can understand the circumstances.

    If you have any questions about forensic audits, please do not hesitate to contact James Hyland and Company on (021) 480 6346 or email 

  • 18Jul

    By James Hyland & Co.,

    0,1853 ,

    Expert Witnesses must always be aware that their primary job is to assist the Court and not to be an Advocate for the party that has retained them.  For a Court to be able to rely on the evidence of an Expert Witness the following guidelines will be of assistance:

    1.  An Expert Witness should at all stages provide independent assistance to the Court.
    2. The Expert Witness should not give evidence as to what the expert would have done in similar circumstances or otherwise seek to usurp the role of the judge.
    3. An Expert Witness should co-operate with the expert of the other party.
    4. The expert evidence presented to the Court should be, and should be seen to be, independent.
    5. An Expert Witness should state the facts and/or assumptions upon which their opinion is based.
    6. An Expert Witness should make it clear when a question falls outside their experience.
    7. An Expert Witness must say explicitly if they think their conclusions are based on inadequate facts.
    8. An Expert Witness must be ready to reconsider their opinion.

    Point 2 presents an easy trap to fall into in relation to assessing the conduct of a professional.  The real question to be addressed by the expert is whether the professional acted in accordance with a practice accepted at the time as proper by a responsible body of opinion skilled in the relevant field (Bolam v Friem Hospital Management Committee (1957) 1 WLR 582).