The Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB) has issued a revised standard covering forensic accounting standards.
The APESB announced that it had released the standard — APES 215 Forensic Accounting Services — to replace the existing standard which was originally issued in December 2008.
It said the revised standard made it clear that an expert witness may provide opinions or other evidence to the court and, as a result, a number of definitions had been revised and a new definition of other evidence has been included in the revised APES 215.
Commenting on the move, APESB acting chair, Stuart Black said a member who was acting as an expert witness could provide opinions or other evidence to the court, and it was important for the APESB to clarify in APES 215 the breadth and scope of the work performed by an expert witness.
The changes also include the revisions to the existing Appendix dealing with facts, assumptions and opinions and the introduction of two new appendices to the standard.
The first new appendix includes a schematic diagram to assist professional accountants in determining whether they are providing a forensic accounting service, and the type of that forensic accounting service.
Black said the revisions provided useful guidance and clarification for accountants who work as forensic accountants — and particularly members of the accounting bodies working in business, regulatory agencies and government authorities — to determine circumstances in which they come within the scope of the standard.