WICPA On Balance: Putting the “Expert” in “Witness”

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This article was originally printed in the January/February 2012 issue of the magazine of the Wisconsin Institute of CPAs, On Balance.

Lawyers are constantly on the lookout for financial experts who can help them win cases. Virtually all civil suits involve issues about money, and a certified public accountant is one of the best resources for sorting out the financial details.

As a CPA, you don’t have to focus on litigation work to become an expert witness. As a professional doing income taxes, financial statement audits, benefit plan consulting, or other advisory work, you possess valuable expertise that could help expand your practice. The key is to set yourself up as an expert on a narrow range of issues and market yourself to the right potential clients. Continue reading

Using Public Records in Financial Investigations

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The internet is an important source of information in financial investigations. It has become so important, that I wonder what I ever did without access to all of this information! Even though my work is focused on digging into the details of financial records – – and many of those are private and not available online – – I still acquire a lot of information helpful to my investigations on the internet.

In Chapter 5 of my book Expert Fraud Investigation: A Step-by-Step Guide, I discuss sources of information for fraud investigations. There are entire books devoted to the process of finding and using public records and public information to aid in investigations, so naturally a chapter of a book can only scratch the surface. However, in that chapter and in this article, I’m going to begin to show you how you can find valuable information. Continue reading