A key difference between litigation services engagements and other consulting services engagements is that litigation services involve an actual or potential dispute resolution proceeding. A CPA who is providing non-litigation services may encounter signs of actual or potential fraud and report it to management. The Company representatives might initiate a fraud investigation with appropriate Counsel and the forensic specialist.
The forensic accountant is usually retained by Counsel and conducts the fraud investigation, including developing approaches and methods which conform to professional standards and presenting a report. The report, for example, may involve using ratio analysis to calculate damages, quantifying lost earnings, or estimating a valuation or calculation of value. Counsel may represent an individual, a business, a public entity, or various groups affected by a fraud, such as creditors, shareholders, investors, partners, or business managers.