Forensic accountant Michael Grayson has caught countless fraudsters out, saving companies thousands of pounds. Now he is warning that with a recession tightening its grip, North-East businesses could become easy targets.
Source: The Northern Echo
Michael Grayson calls them his “war stories” – and he has plenty of them. In his role as a forensic accountant, he’s seen the spectrum of human emotion; the requisite mix of betrayal, tears, regret, anger and deceit.
His investigations have led to him catching a company director who wildly embellished his expenses while working for a multi-million-pound company, and saving a client £300,000 when he proved a sub-contractor was overcharging for the work he was carrying out. He saved another client (who was buying a multi-million pound kitchen and bathroom business) a staggering $25m after investigating the company’s final accounts and suggesting an adjustment of the figures.
He has worked for national banks, major airlines, local authorities, hospitals, FTSE 100 companies and assessed the assets of divorcing couples. And his job has taken him across the world – although there have been less glamorous environments too.
“I’ve worked anywhere from a big 50-story building in Texas to a stable in a back office, so for every Texas there’s also been a Rotherham,” says Michael, who leads a team of four forensic accountants at the Durham offices of Clive Owen & Co LLP.
“Basically, if you like to get up in the morning and know what you’re going to do next, forensic accounting isn’t for you. You could end up working anywhere and you’ve got to be able to start with a blank piece of paper and fill it from nothing, and some people don’t like that.”