Ralph Q. Summerford

Ralph Summerford is the president of Forensic Strategic Solutions where he is a recognized financial investigator specializing in forensic accounting, business valuation, fraud examination and matters related to fraud and accounting malpractice. Mr. Summerford often testifies as an expert witness in federal and state courts on matters involving complicated financial transactions. He works closely with plaintiff and defense attorneys; corporate board and audit committees; bankruptcy trustees and creditors’ committees; insurance company special investigation units; government inspector generals and government agencies.

Mr. Summerford is a sought after expert who has published articles appearing in Accounting Today, Dunn on Damages, Preventing Business Fraud, Financial Fraud, Baltimore SmartCEO, Bank Fraud & IT Security Report and Fraud Magazine. He previously served a three-year term for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ Board of Regents as Vice Chairman, is a Past Chairman of its Professional Standards and Practices Committee and is a Past Chairman of its Board of Review.

Additionally, he serves on the faculty of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners where he travels the United States and abroad teaching fraud examination courses to auditors, bank examiners, law enforcement, attorneys and financial analysts. He is a frequent guest lecturer at seminars, colleges and universities where he strives to enhance the understanding of fraud and forensic accounting. He is a recipient of the 2010 Cressey Award, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ highest honor, which recognizes a lifetime of achievement in the detection and deterrence of fraud.

Professional Designations and Certifications

CPA:  Certified Public Accountant, 1971
CFE:  Certified Fraud Examiner, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, 1993
CIRA:  Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor, 2003
ABV:  Accredited in Business Valuation, 2006
CFF:  Certified in Financial Forensics, 2008
CDBV: Certified in Distressed Business Valuation, 2014

Practice Areas

  • Forensic and investigative accounting
  • Bankruptcy and insolvency
  • Consultant and expert witness
  • Litigation consulting
  • Fraud examination
  • Calculation of damages
  • Business valuation

Professional Memberships and Affiliations

  • Chairman (2004 – 2007), Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Board of Review
  • Vice Chairman (2000 – 2003), Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Board of Regents
  • Chairman (1996 – 1999), Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Professionals Standards and Practices Committee
  • Former President, Vice President, and Program Committee Chairman,Alabama Chapter of Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
  • Faculty Member, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
  • Former Member, University of Alabama at Birmingham Accounting Advisory Council
  • Member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Member, Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors
  • Member, Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants, Past Chairman of Practice Review Committee
  • Member, Alabama and Florida State Boards of Certified Public Accountants
  • Former Member and Officer, American Institute on Federal Taxation
  • Member, Dunn on Damages Panel of Experts, published by Valuation Products & Services, LLC
  • Former Editorial Board Member, The Bank Fraud & IT Security Report, published by Southeast Consulting, Inc.

Civic & Community Engagement

  • Member, Birmingham Kiwanis Club
  • Former Member and Director, Birmingham Broadway Series
  • Former Member, Birmingham YMCA Board of Management
  • Former Director, United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham, Inc.
  • Member, University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Comprehensive Cancer Center Advisory Board


  • Bachelor of Science, University of Alabama, 1968

Representative Seminars and Lectures

  • Finding Fraud in all the Wrong Places, 19th Annual ACFE Fraud Conference and Exhibition, Boston, MA; Institute of Internal Auditors, Bonita Springs, FL
  • Damage Experts in Business Valuation and Breach of Business Fiduciary Duty Cases, DRI Damages Seminar,Las Vegas,NV
  • Building Your Fraud Examination Practice
  • Suspicious Activity Reporting: A Plan for Compliance, An Internal Auditor’s Approach to Fraud Investigation, Who Killed Sarbanes-Oxley?, Financial Profiling: Following the Money Trail, Fundamentals of Writing Expert Reports, and Fraud and Abuse in Construction Projects, 18th Annual ACFE Conference and Exhibition
  • Ethical and Lawful Workplace Investigations, ACFE 17th Annual Fraud Seminar
  • Forensic Investigations: When the Office is a Crime Scene, ACFE Annual Fraud Seminar, Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter, Dallas, TX
  • What to Do After Your Client Discovers Fraud,  Birmingham Bar Association
  • Effective Media Pitching to Build Brand Awareness & Attract Clients, AICPA National Fraud Conference and Litigation Services, Las Vegas, NV