The September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center directed international attention to the financial component of terrorist operations. The demand for forensic accounts has continued to increase because of a growing intolerance for fraud and terrorist activity. Forensic accountants have and will continue to have a vital role in United States' counterterrorism efforts in the post-9/11 era by detecting acts of fraud and money laundering. Comprehensive review of relevant literature including books, peer-reviewed articles, government databases, court records and news media confirms that forensic accountants are equipped with special skills and analytical tools that make them valuable members of terrorism task forces. The soft skills of forensic accountants typically include attention to detail, self-motivation, professional communication, and integrity. Technical skills include broad industry knowledge, data gathering techniques, advanced financial statement interpretation, and ratio analysis. Literature review also indicates that government organizations are increasingly reliant on financial analysts for gathering evidence and preparing summary reports for investigations, prosecutions, and court proceedings. Additionally, a demand exists for forensic accountants in private-sector companies to implement and monitor systems of internal control (e.g. fraud and enterprises risk management frameworks) and communicate threats to the FBI or Department of Homeland Security. While past research mainly includes retrospective analysis of terrorist financing, this paper will argue that forensic accounting will continue to be relevant due to technological change and shifting political, legal, and financial climates.



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