The AICPA’s white paper, “Characteristics and Skills of the Forensic Accountant,” identifies the core skills and characteristics that effective forensic accountants should possess as: analytical, detail-oriented and ethical. Collectively, the attorneys, CPAs and accounting professors surveyed ranked being analytical as the most important characteristic, while attorneys separately ranked effective oral communication as the most important skill, followed by the ability to simplify information.
These skill sets are more important than ever since forensic accounting has expanded well beyond fraud and financial investigations. Today, forensic accounting and forensic services cover a wide range of topics, such as: financial statement misrepresentation, economic damages, business valuation, bankruptcy and insolvency and family law. This evolving practice area also appeals to CPAs who enjoy learning new skills.