Do the figures still matter?

Appealing to peoples’ emotions has always been a part of politics, however, in this era of Fake News, Post Truth and Alternative Facts, it seems like a day does not go by without facts or figures being dismissed and replaced with arguments based purely on emotion.

Rather than using figures to position and influence an argument, if the figures do not fit - it appears they can now be made up or dismissed as fake, with little repercussion.

As forensic accountants, our role is to determine and analyse the financial facts and figures.  Whether we are working on an insurance claim or legal dispute, our aim is to understand the business and market we are dealing with and to get to the key financial drivers.

As in the world of politics, there are times, however, when despite the figures suggesting a strong case in favour of one party, the other party simply takes an opposing position that seems untenable.  As society changes and we become more used to this Post Truth era, I wonder if we will see an increasing number of such disputes? 

In any event, the role of the Forensic Accountant will remain the same which is to provide independent financial advice that can be relied upon and assist parties make informed decisions when faced with Alternative Facts.


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