Dear Attorneys – when facing matters with significant dollars at issue, we know you have your hands full. Whether it’s dealing with court filings, attending a deposition, or preparing for trial, there is no shortage of work for you. That’s where a forensic accountant can help. We can make your life easier and help you better serve your clients. In nearly every case involving economic damages, a forensic accountant can add significant value. Here are some of the ways we can help:
- We Let You Focus on Your Job
You are going to be using your experience and expertise to determine the issue of who is legally liable for the dispute being addressed – was there a duty owed; was that duty breached; was the breach causally connected to economic loss. Let us handle the final component of the claim and assess, quantify and support damages. We can help to put the pieces of the financial puzzle together - you don’t need to have your team going through a stack of invoices or financial statements. As part of our value proposition, we routinely make sense out of large sets of data and summarize this information into a format that is easy to understand. This will allow you to focus your time and energy on addressing the issue of who is at fault.
2. We Determine What’s Truly At Stake
While you are busy assessing the legal strategy and focusing on liability, we can give you insight into the potential financial exposure of the matter at hand. Is that $10,000,000 demand by the opposing side reasonable? If your client is found liable, what is their TRUE exposure? These are just some of the questions that we can help to answer. As efficiently as possible, we will assess the potential magnitude of damages early in the litigation process, allowing you to strategize with the client and determine the optimal approach to the case.
3. We Will Strengthen Your Case
When there are significant damages at stake, you will need to rely on a forensic accountant to help strengthen your case. This can be done in a few ways:
- We will prepare an independent assessment of the economic damages and impacts in question-based on documentation and the facts.
- We will review the adversary’s damage calculations and reports for reasonableness and accuracy.
- We will provide a detailed rebuttal to the opposing side’s expert witness and will identify any mistakes, inaccuracies, or deficient reasoning in their work products.
- We can translate complex financial concepts into easily-understood narratives that address the issues without complication.
- If it is required, we will act as an expert witness by providing written reports and testimony to further support your case.
Having a qualified expert will make for a more credible case and help bolster your client’s position.
4. We Help Control Costs
We know clients are conscious of costs when there is uncertainty surrounding the outcome of a legal claim. We can help control the costs in a few ways. Early on, we can assist during the discovery process to determine what information is truly relevant and requires evaluation. This can help to potentially avoid hundreds of hours of work required to review documentation that is unnecessary. Furthermore, once we provide clarity into the potential exposure for damages, you can determine the most reasonable path forward. Not all claims are alike - a client facing a claim for millions of dollars in damages may want to go a very different direction than one facing $100,000.
This article was written by Chris Mortifoglio, CPA, CFE, Procor Solutions + Consulting Senior Vice President & Director of Forensic Accounting. Connect with Mr. Mortifoglio on LinkedIn here>