Demand for CPAs providing forensic accounting services has accelerated, according to a survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Two out of three CPAs polled (68 percent) say their forensic practices have grown over the past year.
"The survey findings tell us that not only are forensic accounting services in demand, but specifically that CPAs with this expertise are in high demand," said Stephen Winters, AICPA director, firm practice management and specialized communities.
The results were released in connection with the 2008 AICPA National Accounting Conference on Fraud and Litigation Services, which begins today in Las Vegas. The conference marks the official launch of a new credential exclusively for CPAs, Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF). The credential encompasses specialized skills that CPA practitioners apply in a variety of service areas, including bankruptcy and insolvency; computer forensics; fraud investigations; family law; and litigation support, among others.
Of those respondents who reported increased demand for their services, 67 percent cited computation of economic damages as the leading reason, followed by marital disputes (56 percent) and investigations of financial statement fraud (54 percent).
AICPA research shows that CPAs represented 94 percent of forensic experts hired over the past two years.
The survey was administered to more than 5,400 members of the AICPA's Forensic Valuation Services section. The survey was conducted August 26, 2008 – September 17, 2008. A total of 552 members responded, for a response rate of 11 percent. The maximum standard error at the top line level is plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.