Business interruption

Interruption to businesses can occur for many reasons, as a result of fire, flood, supply failure, product liability recall issues, compulsory purchase orders, and even unlawful withholding of VAT repayments. However, whatever the timing or cause of the interruption there are always two common factors:

  • it is always a major inconvenience to the business, which can often impact upon profitability and the individual employees within the company; and
  • from the forensic accountant’s point of view, the task is more or less the same. Our role is to establish how the business was performing prior to the incident, and assess how it would have traded were it not for the interruption.

At FAR Consulting we believe that by putting into place a simple set of procedures as soon as possible after the interrupting event, the task of collating the information and evidence at a later date can be substantially improved and effort reduced. Whilst such processes must not interfere with the operation of the business at this difficult time, once the situation has “normalised” it will enable the business to recover faster as management can focus their time and effort in driving the business forward once more, safe in the knowledge that the information necessary for supporting their claim has already been successfully captured. We have experience and solutions in this field that can be of major benefit as soon as the crisis occurs.

Whether acting for the business affected, or the defendant, we can provide reports, either as an expert witness or as in-house consultants, in a language that is understood by all parties. We understand how solicitors and insurers interact and the commercial pressures upon them. We don’t rigidly crunch the numbers; we look for the more rounded solution that best reflects the specific circumstances of the interruption. Our forensic skills and our client’s in depth knowledge of the business are the perfect combination for achieving the right result.

Professional negligence

We are regularly instructed on professional negligence matters, considering aspects relating to liability, causation and quantum.

  • Liability - assessing whether the conduct of an accountant, or someone providing accounting-related services, falls within the standard that might reasonably be expected;
  • Causation – assessing whether the advice (or perhaps omission) of a professional adviser has directly led to a loss to the claimant; and
  • Quantum – where the standard of care is found wanting, assessing the value of the loss thereby incurred.

Whilst our work relating to liability is constrained to accounting-related matters, we are often asked to look at causation and quantum in cases involving other professional disciplines, including insurance brokers, surveyors, financial advisers and solicitors.

Personal injury and fatal accident claims

We assist both legal teams and individuals throughout the whole claim process to achieve prompt, advantageous settlements. We advise on quantum in loss of earnings, pension and dependency claims.

Initially we identify the documents that will be necessary to support a credible claim, including documentation addressing causation issues where appropriate.

If necessary we can act as expert witness and produce a formal report suitable for disclosure under the CPR. Our reports consider all economic losses arising from the incident, including loss of earnings, pension and dependency, each supported by a detailed, clear, concise explanation.

Alternatively, as more and more cases are settled using ADR, there is a greater need for supportable credible figures to be available earlier to facilitate discussion between the parties. In specifically catering for this need our advice can be less formal, via email or summary reports, which save both valuable time and costs for both parties without compromising on reliability. We have found this approach particularly popular when we are instructed to advise in an in-house capacity.