Statements on Standards for Forensic Services (“SSFS No. 1”) are issued by the AICPA’s Forensic and Valuation Services Executive Committee. SSFS No. 1 provides guidance and establishes enforceable standards for members performing certain forensic and valuation services, specifically, for litigation and investigation engagements. These engagements are defined by SSFS No. 1 as follows:

  • Litigation. An actual or potential legal or regulatory proceeding before a trier of fact or a regulatory body as an expert witness, consultant, neutral, mediator, or arbitrator in connection with the resolution of disputes between parties. The term litigation as used herein is not limited to formal litigation but is inclusive of disputes and all forms of alternative dispute resolution.
  • Investigation. A matter conducted in response to specific concerns of wrongdoing in which the member is engaged to perform procedures to collect, analyze, evaluate, or interpret certain evidential matter to assist the stakeholders (for example, client, board of directors, independent auditor, or regulator) in reaching a conclusion on the merits of the concerns

Prior to the issuance of these standards, litigation and investigation engagements were covered by the AICPA Statement on Standards for Consulting Services No. 1 and the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. As the need for forensic services has grown and evolved, SSFS No. 1 serves to protect the public interest and increase the level of consistency across the profession.

The issuance of SSFS No. 1 reflects a consolidation of relevant forensic services standards into one single standard. These forensic standards are effective for engagements accepted on or after January 1, 2020. Ensure that your hired expert, if applicable, is aware of these new requirements and is aware of the applicable standards for the engagement.

To download the Statement on Standards for Forensic Services click here.

Originally published in Mercer Capital’s Tennessee Family Law Newsletter, Volume 3, No. 1, 2020.

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