How We Check For Potential Conflicts

Potential Conflicts

In this segment of Behind The Numbers, Karen Fortune explains How We Check For Potential Conflicts on a case.

Hi I’m Karen Fortune of IAG Forensics & Valuation.

Today I’m answering the question of how IAG Forensics handles conflict checks. When we receive a phone call from a potential client or more commonly their attorney the first thing we typically say is that we need to see whether we have any conflicts.

This means that we seek to establish that we are not currently working for the opposing party in the potential matter or that we have not worked for the opposing party in a capacity that would cause the attorney in the potential matter concerns over a conflict.

If we have a conflict then we respectfully decline the engagement. This doesn’t happen very often. One of the benefits of being a boutique firm specializing in forensic accounting fraud investigations and litigation support is that we do not prepare taxes or perform annual financial statement audits.

Those types of relationships can cause conflicts within a firm providing those services and limit the population of forensic engagements a professional can accept. If we have concerns that a potential conflict might exist, we research the issue. Sometimes we contact a prior attorney that serves or served in a case where we believe a conflict might exist. Sometimes we explore the potential conflict with the hiring attorney to see if he or she has concerns. In some instances the attorneys on both sides of the engagement can agree that there is no conflict or waive any concerns over conflict due to the time that has passed.

The individual professionals involved or the subject matter under dispute performing a conflict check is an important step for our team and other forensic accountants because as forensic accountants we are to be objective we do not want our objectivity called into question.

We seek to perform our work with the utmost credibility, so we do our very best to determine whether our firm has any relationships that would cause any such concern.

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Karen Fortune

Karen Fortune is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) with over twenty years’ experience in financial investigative services as well as serving as an auditor and CFO in the private sector. She has been qualified as an expert witness and has testified at deposition and trial.

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