In May of last year, we conducted a survey at the LA County Bar Association’s Annual Family Law Symposium. One of the questions we asked was “In choosing a forensic accountant, what do you believe is the most important factor to consider?” Many attorneys responded “Level of knowledge.”
Certainly, completing the requirements for CPA licensure in itself demonstrates a professional degree of comprehension. Beyond this qualification, however, it is obviously advantageous for the accountant to have completed additional training in subjects frequently arising in forensic accounting, such as business valuation and financial forensics. And, certainly, attorneys should heavily weigh experience in making a choice.
It surprised me, however, that not one attorney surveyed mentioned keeping up to date with changes in family law. Isn’t this essential, too? Clearly, of course, it is. Nevertheless, it just was not a top of mind awareness factor among those we interviewed. Perhaps, this was an obvious given.
To me, it unquestionably makes sense for local forensic accountants to maintain an associate membership within the LA County Bar Association and subscribe to Daily eBriefs. Your forensic accountant should peruse eBriefs each day, search for family law cases that involve forensic accounting, and probe case publication sections that are relevant to the work we do. Because case decisions sometimes establish new precedents, eBriefs are not only useful but sometimes essential to how we, as forensic accountants, strategize our work to help gain better case outcomes.
If I was a family law attorney, I would not only ask if the forensic accountant I’m considering is an Associate of the Bar and receives Daily eBriefs, but would pose whether he or she reads them. Then I would ask what cases the accountant recently reviewed and how they were informative and helpful.