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Fraudbusters

Cops handle the crime, but forensic accountants figure out the damage done.

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This story appears in the July 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

For the most part, says David Hahn, CPA, clients aren't too happy when they have to retain him. As a forensic accountant and certified fraud examiner with Squar, Milner Reehl & Williamson LLP, an accounting and business consulting firm in Newport Beach, California, Hahn usually only enters the picture when litigation is involved.

"[In most dispute-resolution processes]," Hahn says, "the ultimate result is quantified in dollars, and typically the best person to do that quantification is an accountant." Forensic (meaning related to court proceedings or dispute resolutions) accounting is a financial service most entrepreneurs hope they'll never need, but it's increasingly in demand nonetheless. The reason is simple: information.

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