Signs That a Company Has Been Ripped Off

Written by Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, CFF

Wisconsin Law Journal

How would you know if your company was being looted by a dishonest employee? Most companies miss all of the warning signs that could help stop a fraud early.

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reports that the average fraud scheme within a company lasts 18 months. That’s one year-and-a-half that one or more employees are stealing from the company without being caught. In that period of time, the average internal fraud causes losses of $159,000. Imagine how much damage could be done to your company in that amount of time.

Read moreSigns That a Company Has Been Ripped Off

Sources of Information in Fraud Investigations

Written by Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, CFF

Wisconsin Law Journal

When you think of information in an internal fraud investigation, you most likely think of things like a company’s internal records. These include accounting documents, personnel files, payroll records, accounting system information, and internal memos. While these items are key parts of an internal investigation, they are not the only tools a fraud investigator may use.

Most people don’t think about all the other records available to assist in an investigation. There are many public and non-public records that can aid the investigator in determining who was involved, where the money went, and what the motive for the fraud may have been. These records are invaluable to the investigator, and often play a key role in determining the details of a fraud.

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You Have the Data, Now What?

Many of the cases I work currently focus on the tracing of funds through multiple bank, brokerage, and credit card accounts. I am typically working with tens of thousands of transactions at a time, so the sheer volume of the data could be overwhelming.

I have put together a proprietary software system that enables me to capture manage, and analyze the data. The system eliminates the need for staff assistance (and the dangers that go along with having multiple people touch the database and possibly corrupt the data). How does the system work? Read on.

Getting the Data

The process of discovery can be long and agonizing for everyone.  There is often a push and pull between the parties in the discovery process, as opposing counsel rarely wants to voluntarily give up damaging financial data.  It often takes several rounds of requests to get the information we seek.

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Forensic Accounting in Construction Claims

Tracy Coenen talks about the prevalence of fraud allegations related to construction projects and the work a forensic accountant can do in construction claims. She goes through the basics of the financial analysis performed on the numbers and documents related to the construction project.

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