Making the Most of an Expert Witness

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gavel-moneyMore than ever, competent and dynamic expert witnesses are critical to winning legal cases. Even if a case doesn’t go to trial, a credible expert can be the key to settling the case for your client.

I believe that an expert witness has the opportunity to make or break a case. We all know that there are few chances to fix a bad opinion when you go to court. There is one chance to express the correct opinion and support it fully. A faulty opinion, or one with little reliable support, can doom a case.

Some attorneys have their preferred experts, while others get referrals from colleagues. Each attorney works with an expert witness in the way that she or he is comfortable. However, it never hurts to hear about it from the other side. This is my perspective on best utilizing your expert witness to her or his full value. Continue reading

Should Forensic Accounting Be Regulated?

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forensic-accountingThe profession of “public accounting” has been regulated by states through the process of issuing CPA licenses. There is one CPA exam taken by candidates across the country, and then each state uses the pass/fail results in their process of certifying accountants. In addition to passing the exam, states generally have education, ethics, and training requirements.

The field of forensic accounting has developed rapidly over the last decade or so, with lots of new professionals practicing forensic accounting. A CPA license is generally not required when providing forensic accounting or fraud investigation services, although many professionals do maintain the CPA credential because it adds a level of credibility to their work. Continue reading

ACFE Annual Fraud Conference

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Last week I presented at the annual Fraud Conference put on by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).

I was presenting the topic “Marketing Your Anti-Fraud Practice.” I presented the topic twice, and had great attendance at each. The feedback was wonderful, and I’m glad that people found things they can use right away. Some of the important points I made included:

  • Gather information about what your competitors are doing. Know who they are, what they do, who their clients are, how they market and what specialties they have. This will help you determine how to market your firm.
  • Utilize professionals to help you design and print your marketing materials (business cards, letterhead, brochures, etc.) for a more professional look.
  • Use public relations (PR) opportunities to your best benefit, but know which events and opportunities are worth your time. If you’ve written something, publicize it.