Economic hardship such as layoffs, market losses, and economic uncertainty often correlate to increased occurrences of employee theft, in turn increasing business for forensic accounting firms.
This trend has partially held true for the economic challenges caused by COVID-19. While fraud cases have spiked, a number of obstacles threaten to change the landscape of forensic accounting.
Investigating Fraud from a Distance
Conditions of social distancing, quarantines, and closures has impacted opportunities for forensic accountants in several ways. Traveling to meet with insureds to analyze pertinent documentation has been curtailed. Opportunities to meet with, collaborate, and engage with other professionals have also been affected. Limited court operations have made this aspect of forensic accounting more challenging and less available.
Like many business, forensic accountants have adapted to using Zoom and other means of communication due to COVID-19. However, these virtual meeting platforms are not without their challenges. The lack of social cues and body language takes away important tools.
Forensic accountants are continuing to evaluate their options and alternative solutions for mitigating the difficulties of remote work.
An Influx of Fraud and Delays
Forensic accountants have described seeing a significant increase in fraud. Loss of Income claims have spiked. Forensic accountants are also facing new threats, such as criminals selling phony relief checks on the dark web. Investigating new and developing schemes can be especially demanding for forensic accountants. Despite the influx of fraud to investigate, many forensic accounting firms face delays due to the inevitabilities of remote work, such as slower collaboration and communications.
Even with obstacles such as major delays and the challenges of social distancing, many forensic accounting firms are working hard to adapt and thrive in these unstable conditions. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SDC CPAs has been dedicated to both serving clients’ best interests while maintaining high safety standards for employees and firm pandemic mitigation efforts.