Technology now enables forensic accountants to spend less time sifting through boxes of paperwork, and more time working on the case itself. In this fourth and final instalment of a multi-part video series, Accountancy Age spoke to Chris Osborne, Partner in our Forensic Services team at FRP, to discuss the benefits of technology for a forensic accountant.
Chris explains that not long ago, the job of a forensic accountant was spent sifting through boxes of paper, searching through accounting data for evidence.
Today, while the need to go through hard copy data still arises, technology has made it possible to analyse vast quantities of data in a fraction of the time it used to take, giving forensic accountants more time to analyse the data, interrogate documents and spend more time on the cases themselves.
Technologies such as OCR (optical character recognition) enables forensic accountants to search documents for keywords and sort documents by date ranges, and AI technologies can analyse data faster than a human ever could.
This makes the work more efficient, cost-effective and enables the forensic accountant to find the relevant documents faster.
Cloud adoption has also brought about more efficient working. Being able to share documents with colleagues and clients remotely saves time. Chris explains that so long as there’s an internet connection, forensic accountants can access documents on their review platform from anywhere in the world.
When it comes to forensic accounting, the human element is still essential but is now enhanced by AI. For example, some programmes will learn from the input of the user, such as how types of documentation are tags. This then saves time when managing and finding documents in the system.
When recruiting for his team, Chris says that it is important that potential candidates are experienced in using different types of technology, and know how to use it to enhance their work.
First published on accountancyage.com in February 2020.