What is the difference between investigative accounting and litigation support?

A forensic accountant may perform investigative accounting, or act as litigation support. What is the difference between these two?

First, investigative accounting is typically associated with investigations of criminal matters. An average investigative accounting assignment would be related to employee theft, securities fraud, insurance fraud, kickbacks and proceeds of crime investigations. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs) work on-site to uncover the truth by examining financial and source documents for fraud.

On the other hand, litigation support is providing accounting assistance in a matter involving existing or pending litigation, and deals primarily with issues related to quantifying economic damages. The litigation support specialist may provide this assistance to the attorney in all stages of preparing the case, or could be on the stand serving as an expert witness.

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