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How is forensic accounting different from an audit?

The difference between the public’s expectation of the purposes and objectives of an audit and the CPA’s responsibilities under Generally Accepted Auditing Standards has been referred to as the “expectation gap”. Forensic accounting can help to bridge the expectation gap.

In comparison, forensic accounting and audit differ in specific ways, as shown below:

In practice, there are differences in mindset between forensic accounting and audit:

“Investigative mentality” vs. “professional skepticism”. A forensic accountant will often require more extensive corroboration.

A forensic accountant may focus more on seemingly immaterial transactions.

A forensic accountant will often look for indications of fraud that are not subject to the scope of a financial statement audit.

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