Forensic Accounting

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Daniel Rands - Forensic Accounting, Litigation Support, Assessment of Economic Loss


Executive Summary

I am a chartered accountant in public practice with over 34 years’ experience as a principal holding a public practice certificate issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.

I have had experience in most areas of forensic accounting including Family Law investigations and valuations; assessment of personal injuries’ financial losses acting for both plaintiffs and the Motor Accidents Insurance Board; commercial damages arising from breach of contract or provision of defective business inputs; valuations of businesses to quantify losses arising from certain events or in accordance with a stakeholders agreement; financial records assessment for Criminal matters and assessment of economic loss under insurance policies acting for both plaintiffs and insurers.

This experience extends from consultations with legal advisers and assistance provided to them through all facets of the legal process and includes appearances in the Supreme Court, the Federal Magistrates Court and Family Court as an expert witness.

The expertise utilised in the performance of assignments arises from a career exceeding 40 years as an accountant in public practice being involved with principally family owned business as an adviser in respect of business management; business purchase, sale, establishment and winding up of businesses and also as a taxation, superannuation and information process adviser.

Professional Qualifications

I graduated from the University of Tasmania in 1983 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce with sub-majors in Accounting and Finance

I was awarded the designation of Fellow member of CAANZ in 1995, to mark 10 years as a principal in public practice and a significant role in the affairs of the Institute. I was registered as a Tax Agent and Companies Auditor in 1984. I am a Fellow member of the Taxation Institute of Australia and a Chartered Tax Adviser.

I was a member of the Forensic Accounting and Business Valuation groups of CAANZ prior to their cessation and regular attendee at the conferences of these disciplines.

Professional Background

I commenced practice as a principal in 1985 and have been a partner in national and international accounting firms since 1991.

I have been engaged by a number of organisations and private firms to present seminars to their members on taxation, GST, business management, business valuation and financial investigation subjects. I have written GST, income tax and negative gearing publications for clients of my firm and industry groups.

The major part of my work is consulting to family owned businesses in financial and taxation matters.

Professional involvement in the forensic and litigation process

1. Assessment of economic loss.

I have prepared numerous reports both for the litigation process and otherwise on losses which have been sustained. This also involves both reviewing the work of other accountants and preparing reports commenting on their assumptions, methodology and other relevant issues for instructing solicitors and counsel and I have appeared in the Supreme Court of Tasmania on a number of occasions to give evidence on my opinions.

2. Valuations.

I have prepared valuations for clients over many years as part of my firm’s advisory services in order to provide advice on the value of businesses for establishment, purchase or sale evaluation.

This has also included preparing opinions of value in a format required for litigation purposes and commenting on the opinion of value prepared by other experts. My experience in the litigation process has covered informal discussions with legal advisers, investigation of aspects of concern, preparation of expert reports in affidavit form, attending a conference of experts, acting as single expert and appearances in the Family Court, the Federal Circuit Court and its predecessors.

3. Investigations and Analysis.

I have conducted numerous assignments where business structures or business operations need to be understood by clients and their legal team and I have been engaged to provide expert assistance.

In other cases, I have been engaged to investigate specific issues of concern to the client or their legal team.

I have been engaged to identify taxation consequences of property settlements and to prepare expert reports and capital gains tax which may be payable, rollovers and other concessions which may be available and the taxation consequences of withdrawal of settlement funds from companies and trusts. Evidence has been provided to the Court on such matters.

I have been engaged to review evidence relied upon by the Crown in respect of fraud charges and prepared a report identifying areas where the forensic evidence did not support the criminal charges which had been laid.

4. Shadow Expert.

Particularly in the single expert environment of Family Law matters, I have assisted a legal team formulate briefs for such experts, provided commentary on expert reports prepared by others and assisted in Counsel’s preparation for cross examination of other experts.

I have been involved in a successful action have secure the Family Court agreement to hear evidence from me as the second expert in a matter. This resulted in the Court hearing evidence from both experts concurrently.

5. Due Diligence and Sale Structuring.

I have been engaged to be part of the team which has undertaken feasibility analysis and then due diligence of a business for the purposes of client acquisition.

I have also been engaged to advise on the documentation and structuring of businesses for sale.

These assignments involved business valuation judgements, advice in respect to appropriate structuring of the sale and assessment of financial information provided by a vendor.

6. Professional development presentations.

I have been a seminar and conference speaker for a number of industry bodies, including family lawyers, in the areas of taxation, GST, business valuation and financial investigation

I have conducted a number of in-house business valuation and financial management or investigation seminars for legal firms and not for profit organisations as part of their internal professional development.

7. Other Assignments.

I have prepared a report dealing with the capacity of a party to proceedings to pay court costs should it be unsuccessful. This involved detailed analysis of its published financial reports and forming an understanding of its likely future cash flows.

In 1997 the (then) Australian Securities Commission (ASC) determined that it should have jurisdiction over the operation of trade exchanges. I was engaged by the International Reciprocal Trading Association of Australia (IRTAA) to review the financial aspects of their voluntary code of practice and make representations to the ASC, in the form of a number of reports, to the effect that the voluntary code should be adopted by the regulator. I was accepted by the ASC as an expert on prudential lending policies for trade exchanges and the voluntary code of practice was specified by the ASC as the industry requirement.