21 January 2016
Jo qualified as an accountant in one of the Big 4 accounting firms and spent seven years travelling the world as a forensic accountant. The case she enjoyed the most was working in French as a senior investigator identifying if there were any unreported assets deposited in Swiss banks at the time of the Second World War.
Having spent more than eight years working in business in Australia and New Zealand, Jo joined Haberman Ilett in March 2015 and focuses on cases involving the Russian and CIS region.
What skill do you use most as a forensic accountant?
“I am fluent in French and German and have worked professionally in both languages. However, I have found that my foreign languages in and of themselves have not necessarily been my most valuable assets. In fact it is the skills I have had to learn when working in languages other than English that have proved to be the most important. I understand how differently words can be interpreted. And I appreciate the importance of word choice when drafting an expert witness report or reviewing case documents.”
What do you enjoy the most about forensic accounting?
“Without doubt I enjoy working with lawyers the most – they have the sharpest minds. In particular, I am always impressed by how barristers cut through all the white noise to get to the heart of a case. “I also like the fact that you can go into a case thinking it is about one thing but end up with it going in a completely different direction further down the line.”
Other than being excellent at what you do, what makes a good forensic accountant?
“The nature of our work means that we are often working on a case with teams of people late into the night. So as well as taking our work very seriously we have to be personable too. Working in this field can be stressful, but if you know how to smile at work when it’s appropriate, not only are your technical skills an asset to the case but your personality is an asset to the team too.”
Is it true that you are an aerobatic pilot?
“Yes I have a private pilot’s licence. I had started training for my aerobatic licence when I had to stop flying for medical reasons. I am hoping to get back to flying in 2016.”
To find out more about Jo, please visit her biography.