Utilization of a forensic accountant to investigate financial exploitation of older adults

Document Type


Publication Date



© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe the results of an online program evaluation survey conducted in the USA in 2018 which was designed to understand how members of an enhanced multidisciplinary team (E-MDT) use the expertise of a forensic accountant (FA) in suspected cases of elder financial exploitation. Design/methodology/approach: This paper analyzes responses to an online survey from 54 E-MDT members. Narrative responses to open-ended questions were analyzed by using cross-case thematic analysis. Data from demographic questions and those with nominal response options were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Findings: Overwhelmingly, the E-MDT members described how useful the FA’s expertise and subsequent detailed reports are in helping determine whether financial exploitation is taking place and providing information needed to continue an investigation and pursue criminal charges. Practical implications: The increasing longevity and sheer number of older adults present ongoing challenges in the fight to address financial exploitation. Findings suggest that FAs working with E-MDTs can help identify signs, collect evidence and help investigate cases of suspected financial abuse of older adults. The development of training programs focused on educating accountants to fill a need in a growing area of forensic accounting may be needed. Originality/value: This paper adds to the growing evidence of multidisciplinary teams as an effective model for investigating cases of financial elder exploitation by focusing specifically on the expertise of an FA.

Publication Name

Journal of Adult Protection

Volume Number


First Page


Last Page


Issue Number




This document is currently not available here.