Finding and Utilizing the Best Expert Witness


More 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.

Finding the Right Expert
The most critical part of working with an expert witness is finding the right one. Naturally, the selection of an expert involves the evaluation of education and credentials. The examination of an expert’s credentials is a particularly critical process. Continue reading

Should Forensic Accounting Be Regulated?


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

Identity theft a huge problem for small businesses


I’m quoted in an article on about identity theft and the risks to small businesses. The bottom line? Most small businesses don’t take the threat of a data compromise seriously enough. They forget that their reputation is on the line, and they could lose customers with a data breach. And it’s much more expensive to find new customers than it is to keep existing ones.

Adds Tracy Coenen, a forensic accountant and certified fraud examiner for Sequence Inc., “I get scared for small businesses because they are not thinking about this issue. I think they are more vulnerable because they’re not taking any basic steps.” Too often, businesses hire her to deal with fraud, not to prevent it.

So while all the attention has been paid to consumer identity theft, small businesses have become more attractive to identity thieves because the rewards are greater. Continue reading