Accounting expertise is one of the professional activities that provides courts with support services on financial matters and plays an important role in the resolution of disputes. Accounting experts are needed in today’s various cases. In this context, Brennan (2005) examined the expertise roles of accounting professionals in the resolution of disputes in England and North America perspective. He stated that this expertise duty had different standards than other accounting duties. He referred to the quality and importance of the expert evidence. Sanchez and Zhang (2012) stated in their studies that they examine the qualifications of experts, that experts are used in many cases and play a very important role in resolving cases. In this context, they have demonstrated the importance of experts in resolving two high profile fraud cases known as Enron and Healthsouth.
1.1. Purpose, Importance and Method of the Study
In recent years, although there is a need for accounting expertise in various dispute issues, disputes between workers and employers are more clearly felt in labor courts. Although there are certain standards in the reports prepared by the accounting experts, the calculations made by different experts show different results and the numbers do not match, depending on the factors considered. In this context, the aim of the study is to determine the indicators to be taken into account in the calculations to be made within the scope of the accounting expertise, to determine the paths to be followed in order to create the expert report and to form a framework for these calculations. Accordingly, in the first part of the study; the expertise, accounting expertise and expertise issues in the labor courts have been briefly examined theoretically, and in the second part, the application for calculating the receivables claimed in a case between the employee and the employer is included.
There are theoretical studies on accounting expertise in the literature, but there are not many studies on practice. This aspect emphasizes the importance of the study.
The study was carried out by the method of evaluating and calculating each receivable item separately in line with the relevant legislation and laws, labor contracts, documents available in the file, information and other documents obtained as a result of on-site inspections.
1.2. Account Expertise in Labor Courts
Expertise in the field of accounting is the presentation of special or technical information required to the court in all kinds of financial cases related to accounting (Kısacık, 2018: 300). This special and technical information may be related to laws such as; The Turkish Commercial Code (TCC), Tax Procedure Law (TPL) and special tax laws, the Code of Obligations, the Capital Market Law (CML) and the Labor Law. Because these laws also contain regulations on accounting practices (Akyel, 2016: 97). It is quite natural that the examinations to be carried out in terms of the basic concepts of accounting and the principles of financial statement editing are carried out by experts of the subject (Utku and Kurtcebe, 2019: 266). The appointment of professional accountants as experts arises from the need for knowledge, experience and competence in this regard.
The increasing number of business disputes has increased the need for an accounting expert in this area. As mentioned before, a significant part of the disputes in the labor courts belong to workers’ receivables. The calculation of workers’ receivables takes place on the basis of the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence and the principles of proof law, as well as material law information (www.bilgi.edu.tr). In other words, it is not enough to know the material law in accounting expertise, besides, the procedural provisions in the Civil Procedure Law (HMK) should be known and these rules should be observed in line with the decisions of the Supreme Court. Because procedural rules can sometimes prevent material law. In this sense, the following issues will be effective in taking into account the report to be prepared in expert judgment practices in labor courts (Bozkurt, 2009: 118).
• Limited to Demand
• Consideration of the Timeout Define
• Consideration of Documents
• Appreciation Discount (Fairness Discount)
Some examinations and determinations requested by the courts in the cases of worker receivables can be listed as follows.
• Examination of documents such as seizure charts, payroll records, payment documents regarding social benefits, all documents related to additional payments, account statements,
• Determining how payments are made,
• The subject of the case is to determine whether the receivables exist.
In the examination of the records and documents subject to expert calculations; issues such as arithmetic accuracy, whether there are authorized signatures, whether they track consecutive sequence numbers and dates, whether they are filed correctly or not, are investigated. This research and investigation can be done in two ways (Selimoğlu et al., 2014: 146).
a) Forward examination of records
b) Backward examination of records
If the receivables subject to the case cover a long period, it is more rational in terms of revealing the results from the known to the unknown, that is, the backward examination of the records.
The labor law, collective labor agreements and service contracts that are in force in the labor judiciary should be taken into consideration primarily. In reviews and calculations; documents such as payrolls, annual leave books, personal file, SSI registration file, payment receipts, release documents, witness statements, minutes and payroll lists are very important.
The business relationship between the worker and the employer is among the fields of activity of the accounting profession. With the signing of the employment contract, the process until the submission of the declaration of employment, making payments such as wages and attachments to be paid, and even signing the employee upon termination of the employment contract takes place under the control of the accounting members. Therefore, courts frequently apply to accounting experts in workers’ receivables cases and provide the special and technical information needed in this field from the professionals.
In Turkey, many arrangements have been made with the Expertise Law No. 6754 for the elimination of the problems observed in the expertise practices and the establishment of an effective structure. These regulations institutionalized the expertise institution and increased the qualifications of the experts with certain standards. However, some problems still persist from past to present. The files are still handed over and delivered to the experts appointed by the courts, and it takes quite a while to get to and from the court items. In fact, this problem can be solved by using the UYAP Expert System effectively. However, for this, the staff working in the court items must fully adapt to the system. Another problem is that the expert fees do not meet the labor provided. This causes most of the professions to stay away from the expertise issue.
As a result, in the study on accounting expertise, the questions asked by the court to answer the expert in an exemplary case regarding workers’ receivables were emphasized and the study was completed by not paying much attention to legal facts. In the similar studies to be carried out in the future, other types of cases involving financial issues can be examined through case studies and the literature can be contributed within the scope of accounting expertise.