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) | FAFP – CIT ICAI | DISA – CIT ICAI.
Presently he is working in Risk Advisory – Forensic Investigations Team, PWC Bangalore.
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 72 Forensic Accounting Firms in India which are amazing!
Before we go ahead here is a little about my journey!
I qualified as a Chartered Accountant from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).
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 (CA) 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 & Company, 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
- Forensic Accounting/Auditing is a mix of = Auditing skillset of an accountant + Investigative abilities of a detective (Yes! Detective)
- Forensic Accounting is the fastest growing specialization. This is probably a direct result of Increase In Fraud = Increase in Compliance Requirements.
Forensic Accounting Teams
- Forensic Accountants are typically employed by large public accounting firms which maintain their own internal division to handle forensic investigation clients. For example, the Big 4 accounting firms like Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young and KPMG all have forensic accounting departments.
- 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.
- For example, Mr. A could be a CPA/CA in EY Auditing team who would move to EY or any other organizations Forensic Team. Once in the Forensic Team Mr. A might pursue various Forensic Certifications and specialize in Forensic Accounting. Now, this is just an example of how a CPA/CA gets into this role. The most recognized certification course is Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) from ACFE.
- 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.
List of 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
Indian Banks Association has a list of :
- 72 Firms who are empanelled for Forensic Audit of Frauds up to Rs. 50 Crores & below
- 39 firms empanelled for Forensic Audit of Frauds above an exposure of Rs 50 Crores.
- You can click this here for the entire list.
Just to name a few from the list (the list is in order of no preference):
- Desai Saksena & Associates
- Alvarez & Marsal India Pvt. Ltd
- P V R N & Co
- Chaturvedi & Co
- M K Aggarwal & Co
- J Singh & Associates
- JLN US & Co
- Ernst and Young LLP
- O.P Totla & Co
- AR & CO
- R S Patel & Co
- Kansal Singla & Associates
- N A Tarkas & Co
- B Rattan & Associates
- R Kabra & Co
- BDO India LLP
- G D Apte & Co
- Haribhakti & Co LLP
- M M Nissim & Co
- Suresh K Jha & Co
- Shah Gupta & Co
- T R Chadha & CO LLP
- BMR Advisors
- Rajvanshi & Associates
- Sarath & Associates
- Mukund M Chitale & Co
- S P Rungta & Associates
- Khandelwal Jain & Co
- Pipara & Company
- GSA & Associates
- Grant Thornton
- Kirtane & Pandit
- And more.
- Other than the firms empanelled in the above-shared list, firms such as – Chetan Dalal Investigation & Management Services and Protiviti are also into providing core Forensic Investigation Services.
So all I can say that is if you have the interest in Financial Investigation:
- Get some experience in Forensic Investigation
- Pursue related 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 STOP and chase what you want. Everything is possible.
He is very active on Linkedin and Quora- Toshaj Oza.