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Forensics Analysis 2014

Summary

The forensics market within Australia has experienced only three Big 4 promotions this financial year and they all were internal promotions within Deloitte. Although this is still up from the single promotion that occurred last year (EY) this practice area still falls short of the others in terms of growth.

This is unsurprising given current economic conditions. In contrast to the landscape 3 or 4 years ago whereby a lot of litigation support was needed in the wake of the financial crisis, the forensics market has significantly slowed as we experience an increasingly stable economy and less bankruptcy. Whilst South East Asia has a huge appetite in the forensics space, capitalising on e-discovery work and Anti Money Laundering, Australia has a comparatively small market in both these areas, and the Partners already in position monopolise these relationships.

Interestingly however, the mid-tier and boutique consulting firms will continue to see high levels of growth in the forensics space as the matrimonial and valuations forensics market remains buoyant. The amount of work coming through these areas will give rise to more successful Partnership business cases for these firms.

Whilst the appetite is limited in the Big 4 they are particularly focused on the financial services forensics market and across the board this is a target area for growth. 2 out of 3 of the promotions being in Sydney therefore would make sense. However the Big 4 are often conflicted out due to audits in this space which hinders growth potential significantly. It will be interesting to see how they navigate this through the next 12 months and what other economical factors will have effect on this space.

Cyber security, the bitcoin and other technological disruptions are likely to have a significant impact.