The demand for CPAs who provide forensic accounting services has accelerated in the past year, according to a survey by the American Institute of CPAs.

Sixty-eight percent of the 5,400 members of the AICPA's Forensic Valuation Services Section who were polled say their forensic practices have grown over the past year.

Of those respondents who reported increased demand, 67 percent cited computation of economic damages as the leading reason, followed by marital disputes (56 percent) and investigations of financial statement fraud (54 percent).

AICPA research shows that CPAs represented 94 percent of forensic experts hired over the past two years.

"The survey findings tell us that not only are forensic accounting services in demand, but specifically that CPAs with this expertise are in high demand," said AICPA director of firm practice management and specialized communities Stephen Winters in a statement.

The results were released in connection with the 2008 AICPA National Accounting Conference on Fraud and Litigation Services in Las Vegas. The conference marks the official launch of a new credential for CPAs, Certified in Financial Forensics, encompassing specialized skills that CPA practitioners can apply in service areas such as bankruptcy, insolvency, computer forensics, fraud investigations, family law and litigation support.

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