Forensic Accounting Services in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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In the past five years, demand for forensic accounting services surged as financial regulation increased and the number of bankruptcies and corporate restructures rose sharply. Businesses turned to the industry for aid in assessing and correcting the damage inflicted during the recession as well as for assistance with litigation. Though internal competition and competition from other industries' in-house forensic accounting services are forecast to rise over the next five years, growth will continue as opportunities arise in niche and emerging markets. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Forensic Accounting Services industry to its growing industry report collection.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

The industry experienced rapid growth as new financial regulations boosted demand

Early in the last decade, the collapse of Enron and WorldCom, among others, highlighted the need for forensic accountants in the battle against accounting scandals. Following these scandals, the federal government passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which placed accounting regulations on corporations in regards to their internal auditing techniques. “These regulations fueled Forensic Accounting Services industry growth through the recession, when the importance of industry services was again made apparent,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Eben Jose. In the five years to 2012, IBISWorld estimates industry revenue will increase at an annualized rate of 7.9% to $4.3 billion.

Unlike typical accounting firms, firms in the Forensic Accounting Services industry benefit from an increase in the number of business bankruptcies and corporate restructures. When the financial markets collapsed in 2008 and the economy sunk into a recession a year later, the number of bankruptcies skyrocketed by over 50.0%. As a result, financial litigation also soared to new heights, prompting the industry to further expand. In 2008, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) introduced its Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) certification, which gave the industry a second tool for measuring the skill set of Certified Public Accountants in regards to their forensic accounting abilities. By 2009, AICPA had issued more than 3,500 CFF certifications. As a result, IBISWorld estimates the number of forensic accounting firms to increase sharply at an annualized rate of 16.5% to 3,922 in the five years to 2012. “Such rapid expansion would normally mean lower profit margins for an industry,” adds Jose, “but that has not been the case, as demand has outpaced rising internal competition.” The vast majority of industry operators are small, local partnerships with only a few employees. However, the Big Four accounting firms (Ernst & Young, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG International) and mid-tier firms account for a larger share of total industry revenue.

In 2010, the industry benefited from another surge of financial regulations. In response to the financial collapse, federal regulators passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, which focuses on increasing the transparency of public company financials to government agencies. This regulation has spurred an uptick in growth; revenue is expected to rise 10.2% by the end of 2012. Strong growth is expected to continue in the five years to 2017. Continued demand for financial investigation services in the wake of the recession, combined with an increase in the number of specialized firms, will drive the industry forward. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Forensic Accounting Services in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry provides services that apply accounting concepts and techniques to legal problems. Forensic accountants investigate and document financial fraud and white-collar crimes. They also provide litigation support to attorneys and law enforcement agencies that investigate financial wrongdoings.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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