I was so proud to bring MY forensic accountant during my divorce onto our DivorceRx Series to discuss when and why you would ever need a forensic accountant. What does forensic mean? Here’s a definition from the New Oxford Dictionary:
- of, relating to, or denoting the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of crime: forensic evidence.
- • of or relating to courts of law.
Sonja was mine, because we needed to determine the value of a business, properties, retirement accounts and more. A forensic accountant may be for you if you think your spouse has hidden bank accounts (depositions will be necessary) or isn’t being truthful with the value of your assets.
HERE’S A DIVORCE TIP: You CAN (though most don’t) hire a forensic accountant BEFORE you hire your attorney, and save money on your divorce costs. This way, your attorney isn’t “babysitting” the forensic accountant while they are doing their work, then you take the files to your attorney to finish the process. This simple tip would have saved me between 10-12,000 dollars on my divorce! Your forensic accountant will still have to bring things current, so if it takes a few years, those numbers will change, and there will be additional fees to do that, but you will save a huge amount of money on your total divorce costs if you do it this way. Here’s a word of advice. This is for those that feel strong enough to be the “overseer” of the process. But, in my case, I could have done it, and wish that I had this tip. Also, know that your forensic accountant may never have done it this way, but with some gentle nudging, he/she will do it!
SONJA REPOSA, CPA, CFF, CGMA
Deerfield Beach, Florida
Sonja is currently a partner in the litigation department of J.D. Gilbert & Company, a CPA firm located in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Sonja and her team are responsible for the marital dissolution and forensic accounting division of the firm.
Sonja joined J.D. Gilbert & Company in 2000 and has developed an area of expertise in litigation support services primarily for medium to high net worth marital dissolution cases. Sonja is qualified in the South Florida region as an expert in all areas of family law and forensic accounting cases. In addition, she prepares individual and corporate income tax returns.
Prior to joining the firm, Sonja was an associate at Barnes, VanVorst, Reposa, Gosnell & Indowsky CPAs providing services for the State of Florida Remediation Program. Prior to that, she was a staff accountant at Ahearn, Jasco & Company providing tax and financial accounting services for individual, business, and forensic accounting for financial institutions related to commercial real estate loans.
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