What is a Financial Neutral?

January 16, 2024

You may have heard the term “Financial Neutral” used regarding litigation or alternate dispute resolution.  This blog discusses Financial Neutrals and the services they provide.

A Financial Neutral is an independent financial expert who works with both parties in either litigation or alternate dispute resolution.  A Financial Neutral can either be appointed by the Court or by an arbitrator or can be jointly engaged by the parties involved in either mediation or collaborative dispute resolution.

I have been engaged in mediation and collaborative dispute resolution to perform such services as:

  • Business valuation;
  • Analysis of a couple’s assets and debts for equitable distribution in a divorce;
  • Analysis of each spouse’s income for support purposes in a divorce.

Additionally, I have been court-appointed to investigate suspected fraud and to calculate economic damages due to such fraud.

Other potential Financial Neutral appointments include the following services:

  • Analysis of contract and other business disputes, including calculation of financial damages;
  • Analysis of trustee’s or executor’s accounting, and investigation of any improprieties identified;
  • Analysis of investment returns – both past and projected;
  • Appraisal of real estate, artwork, vehicles and other assets (this usually involves an expert with specific training and experience in appraising particular assets).

Because a Financial Neutral is independent, the parties not only save the cost of having to engage competing financial experts, they can also have confidence in the transparency of the Financial Neutral’s work.  Additionally, particularly with regard to mediation and collaborative dispute resolution, the Financial Neutral is able to explain his/her analysis in detail to the parties involved.

David Anderson, CPA, CFE, CVA

David Anderson – principal of the Philadelphia forensic accounting firm David Anderson & Associates – has more than 30 years of experience in financial and operational leadership positions in fields such as accounting, retail automotive, manufacturing and real estate. David specializes in forensic accounting, business valuation, fraud investigation, business consulting and outsourced CFO services.

As a leading forensic accountant in Philadelphia, David has extensive experience in providing litigation support for partner/shareholder disputes and marital dissolution, and in working with companies dealing with insolvency and reorganization issues. He also provides litigation support for corporate and matrimonial separations. David Anderson & Associates offers fraud detection and deterrence services, including training tailored to specific customer circumstances, contingency and disaster planning programs, and evaluation of information technology systems security.

David is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiner and a Certified Valuation Analyst. He is the author of dozens of analytical forensic accounting articles that have appeared in such national and regional publications as the Legal Intelligencer and the Med City News. He also has delivered numerous presentations on business valuation, fraud investigation and outsourced CFO services at seminars throughout the Philadelphia area.

David serves as an expert witness in economic damage analysis and fraud cases on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants in Federal, State and local courts. Most recently, David was qualified by the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey as an expert in Forensic Accounting, Fraud, Business Valuation and Executive Management, and testified in the case of the United States v. Nicodemo Scarfo, et al.

David earned an MBA in Strategic Planning from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, an MSE in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a BBA in Accounting from Millsaps College.