The growth in forensic accounting and fraud investigation specialties has led accounting firms of all sizes to expand their practices to these areas. Experts agree that this practice area will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.
Is it as easy as it sounds to add forensic accounting to your firm’s competencies? Traditional audit staff may have excellent foundational knowledge that could be applied to fraud investigations, but offering consistent and reliable services to clients in the area of forensic accounting will take some work.
Here are areas your firm — especially if it’s small — should focus.
It is a simple decision to start providing accounting services. The next step is deciding which specific services to provide. Many types of engagements can fall under the forensic accounting umbrella, so it is important to develop a focus.Continue reading
People who steal from their employers often exhibit telltale characteristics that could tip off management that they’re likely to commit fraud. These characteristics include attitudes on the job, daily work habits, and personal lifestyle issues. A few of these traits alone do not indicate fraud, but the potential for fraud to occur rises with more of the characteristics in an employee.
Often when a victim of occupational fraud reflects on the work history and personal life of the perpetrator, a light bulb comes on. The perpetrator exhibited many of these characteristics, but those things were overlooked in the normal course of business. Awareness of these characteristics can help reduce internal fraud.Continue reading
Rule #1 of divorce and child custody cases: It’s expensive to fight over these things in court.
Noella Bergener, one of the cast members of Real Housewives of Orange County (RHOC), has found out the hard way. But she made it even worse on herself by assuming that her ex was paying her legal fees, and then ignoring her attorneys’ requests to get paid.
Interest of $116k and other fees of $5k were added to what she owed to bring the total over $400k. And she apparently blew off the lawsuit for the fees, which resulted in the default judgment.
Don’t be like Noella. Don’t ignore your attorney when he or she is requesting that you pay your bill. And don’t assume someone else is paying your bill and fail to show up for your court hearing about it.
Have you ever thought about the fact that a particular industry in which a company operates creates risk factors for fraud? We call these industry red flags, and Tracy discusses some of the more common ones in this video, including:
Performance substantially out of line with competitors (either much better or much worse than others in the industry)
In many divorces, women are at a significant disadvantage, especially when it comes to money. In many marriages, the husband has been the main breadwinner. He often controls the purse strings, and often knows much more about where money has been spent and what assets are owned.
In contrast, the wife has often had lower earnings, and has had little to no control over the money. She may have been free to spend money as she saw fit, but she did not see the bills, pay the bills, or maintain control over bank and brokerage accounts. At divorce time, she has no idea where the money is, where is may have (improperly) gone, and may have no access to it.Continue reading
Miles Mason, a Memphis divorce attorney, has a great article on his blog called Grab the Documents: What Spouses Need to Copy for Divorce Lawyers. Divorcing spouses always wonder what documents they need to take, and the list provided by Miles is a great roadmap. Read the article for details and descriptions on each item, but below is the basic list.
Documents are going to include both paper and digital records. If you have access to any bank, credit card, or investment accounts online, it’s advisable to go into the accounts and download all available statements and supporting documentation. Do it right away in case you lose access to that account later.Continue reading
Kail sued Briana for defamation in June 2021 after Briana said that Kail’s ex-boyfriend Chris said Kail physically assaulted them. Briana’s win was really simple: She told the truth. Chris did, in fact, tell her that Kail assaulted him. And there was no evidence that Briana knew that the statement was false.Continue reading
In this video, Tracy Coenen briefly defines and audit and how many people are being audited by the IRS. (Hint: A very low number of people are being audited, and people with higher incomes are much more likely to be audited. Watch the video to find out the numbers.)