In 2005 alone, we have experienced a record number of devastating disasters, including the tsunami, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, mudslides, and wild fires. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, hurricane-related claims could surpass $22 billion, the largest amount paid in the entire history of the organization. The Federal Emergency Management Agency expects $10 billion to $30 billion in total flood claim payments.

The graphic and ongoing media coverage has illustrated the need to rebuild, while the government, non-profit organizations, insurers, and construction companies have come to the front line during response and recovery. Recent events also have raised the profile of the forensic accountant as a much more necessary element in disaster recovery.

Forensic accounting is the practice of using accounting, auditing, and investigative skills to assist in legal, insurance, or criminal matters. When catastrophes occur, such as Katrina and Wilma, forensic accountants are called upon to assist insurance company representatives in doing their part to measure property and business losses under policy coverage.

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