NEW YORK, March 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Kessler International, a global forensic accounting firm, announced today that a study focusing on accounting and law firms has shown significant growth in the demand for forensic accounting services over the past 40 years. When the term "Forensic Auditor" was coined by Kessler's founder Michael G. Kessler in the early 1970's, there was virtually no forensic accounting industry. Today, the demand for the service continues to grow at an incredible rate.
Kessler's study revealed that much of the growth comes from clients involved in high-profile divorce matters, where assets are often hidden and difficult to discover as well as an increasing amount of white collar crime and fraud. When asked why they believed there is such astonishing growth in demand for the service, respondents most typically answered:
- Because of the increasingly litigious atmosphere
- Because of the growth of fraudulent activity
- Advances in technology make fraud harder to identify
- Lackadaisical accounting staff
Of those surveyed, 85% believed that forensic accountants require specialized skills and knowledge in order to identify and fetter out fraud that traditional accountants would miss. 75% indicated that because of the fast growing nature of the field, accountants lacking these specialized skills try to pass themselves off as seasoned forensic accountants.
Kessler International also reports that there has been tremendous growth in the amount of applications for employment and requests for internships they have seen, a result of the increasing demand for the service. Unfortunately not many schools are training students to be forensic accountants and Kessler's study has found that an increasingly large number of so-called forensic accountants have limited experience and simply advertise the service because they can bill more than their tax preparation. Kessler has also found that a number of unlicensed individuals with no experience in white collar crime detection are also offering services at bargain rates. Kessler's study also found that accountants have transitioned from accounting to being inexperienced, unlicensed private investigators. A previous survey done by Kessler indicated that many states have active investigations regarding so-called forensic accountants conducting private investigations.
Ideally, a professional and successful forensic auditor will also be licensed as a private investigator and have access to an array of databases and a support staff that legally investigates transactions not only on paper but also in the physical world. As Kessler's world renowned trademark states regarding forensic accounting, "Accountants Look At the Numbers. Forensic Accountants Look Behind the Numbers.®"
Mr. Kessler, wanting to distinguish his role from other field auditors and of the accountants whose job was to certify the books and records, began calling himself an "Investigative Accountant," a term he heard while working closely with the government's accountants assigned to analyze fraud findings. Kessler quickly realized that this title would not be accepted by individuals in private industry. It seemed no one felt comfortable in the hands of an "Investigative Auditor." Kessler was now faced with a dilemma.
Kessler's inspiration came from an unlikely source. One night after watching his favorite show, "Columbo," he found the resolution to his problem. To some viewers Columbo's most memorable attribute was his crumpled raincoat, but for Michael G. Kessler, it was much more. Kessler realized that Peter Falk could quickly solicit the cooperation of defendants and solve cases using a gentle approach and the use of "forensic evidence." Kessler thus began calling himself a "Forensic Auditor," a term coined by Kessler, and now widely used within the industry. He found the result was as he had hoped and he was quickly accepted when he announced himself in the community.
About Kessler International
Kessler provides forensic accounting, digital forensics, private investigation services and business intelligence, to corporations and individuals worldwide from its offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington DC, Chicago, Puerto Rico, Hong Kong and London and affiliates throughout the world.
Established in 1988, Kessler's satisfied clients are comprised of an extensive and distinguished list of Fortune 500 companies, prestigious law firms and individuals worldwide. Its diverse staff includes attorneys, certified forensic digital engineers, forensic accountants, licensed investigators and researchers. More information about Kessler's full range of forensic accounting services can be found at www.investigation.com.
SOURCE Kessler International