07 Nov

Is Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Effective?

Oversight Systems surveyed 208 Certified Fraud Examiners earlier this year, inquiring as to whether or not the controls imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley are believed to be effective. The survey found that while fraud examiners believe SOX helps with fraud identification, few believe that the culture of business leaders will be affected by it in the long run.

65% of survey participants believe that SOX has been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” in identifying incidences of financial statement fraud. However, the large majority (83%) of respondents believe that recent leanings toward integrity and fraud prevention will not have long-term staying power.

It is clear that while regulations have shined a brighter light on fraud prevention, the ability of SOX to have a lingering effect in the minds of executives is doubtful.

Survey results are available here.

07 Oct

Sequence Inc. Featured at WICPA Event

On Friday, October 7, nationally-recognized fraud expert Tracy Coenen will share her insights with high school educators from around Wisconsin.

The High School Educators Accounting Symposium is presented for business teachers and guidance counselors. Teachers will be given ideas to help them market accounting classes and careers in accounting. The day will kick off with a keynote presentation by Tracy Coenen, who will highlight the key components for success as a forensic accountant.

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15 Sep

Take Steps to Extinguish Fraud

Written by Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, CFF

On Balance – The Magazine for Wisconsin CPAs – September/October 2005

Fire drill training in grade school always included the mantra, “Stop, drop and roll.” This was the prescribed course of action if a child was on fire. Professionals sometimes refer to tragedies in companies as fire drills. When a major internal theft occurs, it is akin to a fire, and needs to be met with swift action.

Where there is smoke, there might be fire. Numerous red flags can point to internal theft: missing or altered documentation, unexplained accounting entries, excessive customer complaints about account balances, and disregard for policies and procedures. Read More

24 Jun

Women of Influence: Where Are They Now?

The Business Journal of Milwaukee

TRACY COENEN, 2002 Women of Influence Awards

Sequence Inc’s phenomenal growth in 2002 has been followed by triple-digit growth in 2003. As more attorneys become keenly aware of the value added by a forensic accounting expert, Tracy Coenen finds herself dueling in several fascinating legal battles. National expansion plans are currently under way.

Read the original Women of Influence article here.

15 Apr

Just a Minute With Tracy Coenen, President and Forensic Accountant at Sequence Inc.

Small Business Times

The Small Business Times interviews forensic accountant and fraud investigator Tracy Coenen about her firm, Sequence Inc.

Industry: Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination

Number of employees: 1 forensic accountant, 2 part-time clerical

Education: Honors Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Law Studies, Marquette University; Master of Business Administration, Marquette University

Family: Single; proud aunt of eight month old Maxwell, who is sporting his first tooth.

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?

We’ve added a new service that leverages everything we’ve learned about fraud over the last ten years. Our FraudForce program helps middle market companies combat fraud through company-wide education, active investigations, and proactive prevention techniques. Few middle market companies have fraud experts on staff, so this offers them an opportunity to tap into our expertise to reduce internal fraud, and ultimately increase their bottom line.

Read More

15 Oct

Checks Are No Longer “In the Mail” Under New Regulation

The Business Journal of Milwaukee
By Phil Trewyn

Federal legislation that goes into effect Oct. 28 and aims to streamline how banks clear checks means business owners will have to be more cognizant of having funds in place to cover checks, say bank executives.

“This will be a rude awakening across the board for all businesses,” said Margaret Henningsen, vice president and co-founder of Legacy Bank, Milwaukee. Read More

24 Aug

Stop, Drop, and Roll: Conducting an Internal Fraud Investigation

Written by Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, CFF

Wisconsin Law Journal

Fire drill training in grade school always included the mantra, “Stop, drop and roll.” This was the prescribed course of action if you were on fire. Professionals sometimes refer to tragedies in companies as fire drills. When a major internal theft occurs, it is akin to catching on fire, and needs to be met with swift action. Read More

23 Apr

Sequence Inc. Featured at Corporate Casual

Business Journal of Milwaukee

On Tuesday, April 27, 2004, resident fraud expert Tracy Coenen will share her insights with Corporate Casual, a business development group for accountants, attorneys, and bankers.

The focus of the presentation will be on detecting fraud, and the appropriate first steps in an internal investigation. What would you do if an employee was suspected of theft? Ms. Coenen will share the investigation expertise she has gained over the last 10 years while investigating crimes of all sorts.

17 Mar

Campaign Finance Fraud in the Milwaukee Mayor’s Race

Milwaukee’s NBC affiliate, WTMJ, interviews fraud investigator Tracy Coenen about issues in finance campaign reports related to the mayoral race.

The evening newscast featured Tracy Coenen giving her opinion about inaccuracies in the campaign finance reports submitted by Marvin Pratt. She also commented on the assertions made by the Pratt campaign, and the lack of documentation to support those assertions. Read More