Tracy Coenen teaches a group about some of the most common red flags of financial statement fraud. More information on corporate fraud is available in Tracy’s book, Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
CPAs doing traditional tax and auditing services are often looking for other streams of revenue to fill in the gaps outside of busy season. Litigation support work might be a great fit for them. Attorneys are always looking for expert witnesses with certain areas of expertise, and accountants doing general work might be a good option.
What is your focus? Do you specialize in a certain industry or work frequently with certain accounting or tax rules? Litigation work is often interesting, but you have to be able to explain your work to non-accountants and testify in depositions or at trial. How well do you think you would do in the hot seat?
The video below offers Tracy Coenen’s commentary on this topic.
When there are suspicions of hidden income or secret investments or bank accounts, an analysis of known bank accounts can reveal helpful details. Tracy Coenen explains how bank statements and credit card statements can be used by a forensic accountant in a divorce or child support case.
Tracy Coenen explains exactly what a Ponzi scheme is: an investment scheme in which the promoter takes money from “investors” and promises to invest it. There is little to no real investment, and when it comes time to pay “returns” those investors, the promoter needs money from NEW “investors” to pay them. The promoter is generally stealing from the investors and constantly needs new money to keep the scam going. Ponzi schemes are often called pyramid schemes.
Tracy Coenen talks to a group of CPAs about the top ways fraud is detected within companies. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) conducts a survey of its members every two years. It consistently finds that the most common way fraud is found within companies is through tips from employees, customers, and vendors.
Next, management review of financial statements and account balances and reconciliations is a very effective technique. The internal audit function can also be very effective at helping to uncover fraud at companies. Sadly, many internal frauds are also uncovered by accident.
Defendants in criminal cases such as tax fraud, money laundering, or embezzlement often need forensic accountants to help evaluate complex financial situations. Should you provide expert witness services to criminal defendants? Tracy discusses the work and some of the issues that should be considered.
You are only an expert if the judge says you’re an expert. No matter how many times you may have testified in court as an expert witness, each time you must prove all over again that you’re qualified to provide expert testimony.
In this video, Tracy Coenen talks about how she presents herself to the court as a forensic accountant so that she will be qualified to provide expert testimony. It is a combination of education, credentials, and experience.
Tracy talks about the types of damages that an expert may be asked to calculate in securities fraud cases, such as realized/unrealized gains on investments, margin interest, and more.
Are you more likely to be selected by the IRS for a tax audit if you file an extension for your income tax return?
Tracy Coenen talks with Miles Mason, Esq. about a divorce case of his in which a forensic accountant was able to find significant financial frau