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  • Writer's pictureJade Hutchinson

A Day in the Life of Forensic Accountant, Jade Hutchinson

With us today is Forensic Accountant Jade Hutchinson, who works for Greater Manchester Police in the Economic & Cyber Crime Section. We wanted to share with you an insight into the role of a forensic accountant, how they identify irregularities and discrepancies in accounts, establish if they are criminal offences, quantify victim losses and trace criminal assets.

Jade Hutchinson talks about her career working as a Forensic Accountant for Greater Manchester Police

I have worked as a Forensic Accountant for Greater Manchester Police for five years. Overall, I have over seventeen years of experience as an accountant in industry and practice; I'm also a Fellow of the Chartered Certified Accountants and have been qualified for over nine years.

In my role, I am assisted by one Forensic Accounting Technician; we currently have a vacancy for another Forensic Accounting Technician.

The role of the Forensic Accountancy unit within GMP is to support the Economic & Cyber Crime Section in examining and presenting complex financial information.

Operational duties include the independent analysis of financial accounts of companies, individuals and other organisations under investigation to identify irregularities and discrepancies, establish criminal offences, quantify victim losses and trace criminal assets.

In my role, I provide assistance at the initial stages of an investigation by preparing a preliminary financial analysis to assess the possible relevant financial elements of an operation. We also attend Police searches to provide guidance and advice on the material obtained and other documentation that may be required.

For an investigation, we support the investigating officer in deciphering accounting data, including documents such as; Bank Statements, Cash Books, Accountants' Working Papers, Solicitors Files, End of Year Financial Statements, HMRC and Companies House documentation, Board Minutes, Solvency Reports and Audit Reports. We also assist with translating the data held on Accounting Software Packages.

The team produces complex financial witness statements, attends court and gives evidence as required. The independent evidence presented by the Forensic Accountant regarding the complex accounting aspects of a case can lead to convictions and custodial sentences at trial.

Although most of our work comes from the Economic & Cyber Crime Section, we also provide analytical assistance and technical advice to other external and divisional officers undertaking investigations of a financial nature.

Whilst in my role at GMP, I have been involved in a diverse workload, including various types of financial investigations such as Money Laundering, Conspiracy to Defraud, Conspiracy to Steal, Coercive and Controlling behaviour, Fraud by Abuse of Position, Corruption, False Accounting, Fraud by False Misrepresentation, Perverting the Course of Justice, Furnishing False Information and Possession of Criminal Property.

Forensic Accounting is an extremely interesting career, and I enjoy working in a dynamic role where no two work assignments are the same. I work with various people and deal with vast amounts of data regularly. As the criminal world involves, methods of criminality, particularly in fraud and money laundering, mean that our methods of providing Forensic Accounting evidence also change.

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