- Today we have Toshaj Oza who shares with us the List of Forensic Accounting firms in India.
- He is a Chartered Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), has done his Diploma in Systems Audit (DISA | ICAI), and has done the certificate course in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Prevention (FAFP | ICAI).
- Presently he is working in Financial Advisory – Forensic and Dispute Services Team, Deloitte India.
My Journey Becoming a Forensic Accountant
A lot of us believe that to have a career in Forensic Accounting you need to get only into Big Accounting Firms. However, it is not always true! There are many other Firms in India that are into Forensic Accounting!
I qualified as a Chartered Accountant from India. I did my internship in Tax/Audit from J.T Shah & Co, a mid-sized Chartered Accounting firm in Ahmedabad, India.
I realized that the traditional Tax/Audit was not for me after completing 3 years of internship. I researched a lot and decided to be a Forensic Accountant.
In fact, after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant I got offers in Big 4 Accounting firms like EY, Deloitte, etc. but they were all into – Statutory Audit not Forensic Accounting!
In short, I got no offers for Forensic Accounting profiles, the reason was – No experience in Forensic Accounting during my internship.
So what did I do next – Did I GIVE UP? NO! I created my own path. I started my career in Forensic Accounting from Pipara & Co LLP, Ahmedabad (India). It is a mid-sized firm but the amount I learned there was phenomenal.
In fact, it was my good luck that I joined a mid-sized Forensic Accounting firm before joining a Big 4 Accounting firm. I got an opportunity to learn so much more without being restricted to certain departments.
What is Forensic Accounting?
- Put in simpler terms Forensic Accounting/Auditing is a mix of = Auditing skillset of an accountant + Investigative abilities of a detective (Yes! Detective)
- Although Forensic Accounting is not only limited to services related to accounting but involves many other services such as due diligence, market intelligence, dispute services, conducting suspect interviews, data analysis etc.
- Corporates require the services the Forensic Accountants to investigate into matters related to accounting and sometimes Forensic Accountants are also hired by law firms to help in certain investigations related to accounting matters.
- Forensic Accounting is the fastest growing specialization. This is probably a direct result of an Increase in Fraud = Increase in Compliance Requirements.
Building a career in Forensic Accounting
Forensic Accounting is basically a mix of accounting practice, investigation, and auditing. Hence these Financial Detectives – Start out mostly (not always!) as traditional Public Accountants/ Chartered Accountants and then they move on to more specialized departments in Forensic Accounting.
Ideally, professionals having accounting backgrounds such as CA/CPA are preferred for being hired in the investigations team. Someone having a credential such as Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) from ACFE is preferred.
The Forensic Accounting team is usually a mix of – CPA’s, CA’s, MBA’s, Engineers, CS, Lawyers, Graduates and much more.
Many of them do various certification courses to specialize in Forensic Accounting.
There are several different certifications available to forensic accountants, although none are required.
Thus many Forensic Accountants have– A combination of various certifications/qualifications + most important of all, they have relevant experience in Forensic Accounting.
International Forensic Accounting Firms
- Ernst & Young
- Grant Thornton
- Plante Moran
- Baker Tilly
- Rothstein Kass
- Dixon Hughes Goodman
- UHY Advisors
- And a lot more!
Other than Big 4 Accounting Firms many other small/mid-sized firms are working in the Field of Forensic Audit.
So if you are not getting an opportunity in a Big 4 Firm or a Big 10 Firm, start your Forensic Accounting Journey in other equally amazing smaller firms, like me.
List of Forensic Accounting Firms in India
Large public accounting firms such as the Big 4 like Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young and KPMG have a service offering for Forensic Investigation and Dispute Services. These divisions comprise many other sub-divisions such as investigations, data analytics, forensic technology, etc. and usually the investigations team employ Forensic Accountants.
Now similar to large public accounting firms, large law firms such as Shardul Amarchand Mangadas, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, AZB, and Partners, etc. have also started offering Forensic Services by hiring forensic accountants and building their own team.
Some of the notable consulting firms in India are as under:
- Ernst & Young
- Grant Thornton
- FTI Consulting
- Chetan Dalal Investigation and Management Services
- Haribhakti & Co LLP
- G D Apte & Co
- Batliboi and Purohit
- Pipara & Co LLP
- T R Chadha & Co LLP
- JLN US & Co
Some of the notable law firms in India are as under:
- AZB Partners
- Khaitan & Co
- Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas
- Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas
- DSK Legal
So all I can say that is if you have the interest in Financial Investigation:
- Get some experience in Forensic Investigation
- Pursuerelated courses/certifications.
- Remember it is not necessary to be a Chartered Accountant or a CPA to be a Forensic Accountant.
Key Takeaways from my journey
- If you have no experience in Forensic Accounting and Big 4 Firms DO NOT select you, do not worry! Apply to the other firms.
- The learning in mid-sized forensic accounting firms is phenomenal.
- Network and join various Forensic Accounting courses so you can meet other Forensic Accountants.
- So all of you DO NOT STOPand chase what you want. Everything is possible.
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