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25 Years of FSS: Looking into the Past, Present and Future

25 Years of FSS: Looking into the Past, Present and Future

25 years ago, a dream came true – Forensic Strategic Solutions (FSS) came to life! In October of 1992, FSS was created as the product of a plan to specialize in investigative financial services. We narrowed our scope to the specific field of fraud investigation, while also serving as expert witnesses on complicated financial matters. Many people thought such a niche practice would not be successful, but today, the industry continues to flourish. In fact, back in 1992, few people – especially in the general public – had even heard of forensic accounting. Most folks thought forensic accounting was providing accounting services to dead people!
Technology is Changing Auditing

Technology is Changing Auditing

Or… has technology already changed auditing? The accounting and auditing world is buzzing with talk of how automation and other technologies will reshape the accounting profession. Oh, how slow this world catches on! The reshape should have already taken place as both technology and automation have far surpassed the capabilities and knowledge of most auditors.
Analyzing Assumptions in a Cash Flow Forecast

Analyzing Assumptions in a Cash Flow Forecast

Forecasts of future cash flows within the income approach to business valuation are loaded with assumptions. During my nearly two decades of business valuation experience, I have reviewed hundreds of valuation reports prepared by other experts that serve as a constant reminder that mathematical accuracy does not always equate to a reasonable value. I have seen erroneous assumptions made by business appraisers that range from illogical disconnects within the valuation to outright errors or unsubstantiated speculation. 
Best Practices for Employers: Conflicts of Interest

Best Practices for Employers: Conflicts of Interest

In my last blog, I discussed why corruption in the workplace always requires a conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest arise when employees have interests that may make it difficult to maintain one’s duty of loyalty to their company in an objective and effective manner. Quashing all conflicts of interest within businesses would be difficult to conduct; therefore, it is important to know how to reduce the risks inherent in conflicts of interest.
Quickbooks Audit Trail: Fraudulent Behavior Detection

Quickbooks Audit Trail: Fraudulent Behavior Detection

The QuickBooks Audit Trail (or Audit Log, depending on the version) provides a log of each accounting transaction and denotes any additions, deletions or modifications affecting the integrity of the transaction. The tool captures every transaction from the time it is initially entered into QuickBooks, and tracks changes to the original entry, including transaction type, date, account, vendor/customer name, transaction amount, quantity, and price. The Audit Trail also reveals the User ID under which the entry, deletion or modification was made. The Audit Trail is a report built in the QuickBooks ReportCenter– all you have to do is click a button to generate the report.
Why Corruption Always Requires a Conflict of Interest

Why Corruption Always Requires a Conflict of Interest

When it comes to corruption, there is almost always a common denominator: a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest exists when an individual or corporation has the opportunity – real or perceived - to exploit their position for personal or corporate benefit. Corruption occurs when the individual or corporation takes advantage of that opportunity and indeed abuses their position for private gain.
Adding the Value: Business Valuation Expertise in Divorce Litigation – Part Two

Adding the Value: Business Valuation Expertise in Divorce Litigation – Part Two

In my last blog post, I explained what an active/passive appreciation study is, scenarios in which it would be conducted and the value that a business valuation expert brings to the table when performing the analysis. As a refresher, an active/passive appreciation study is often required in matrimonial litigation when an existing business or business interest is owned by one spouse prior to the marriage, or is gifted or bequeathed to one spouse during the marriage. Since we have covered the basics, we can now dive deeper and discuss the various phases and steps of an active/passive appreciation study.
The Digital Footprint: Where to Look

The Digital Footprint: Where to Look

The world of technology offers the opportunity for fraud experts to trace the “untraceable.” With technology becoming more popular and present in our lives by the day, people are conducting their lives more digitally, whether through email, texting, social media or Internet browsing. Collecting, analyzing and interpreting the electronic evidence of fraudulent activity is becoming more widespread in the fraud examination world, and will most likely soon become the standard.
Adding the Value: Business Valuation Expertise in Divorce Litigation

Adding the Value: Business Valuation Expertise in Divorce Litigation

When going through a divorce, determining the marital value of private business interests can often get tricky – this is especially true if one spouse has a separate ownership interest in a business. An active/passive appreciation study is often required in matrimonial litigation when an existing business or business interest is owned by one spouse prior to the marriage, or is gifted or bequeathed to one spouse during the marriage.
25 Years of FSS: Looking into the Past, Present and Future

25 Years of FSS: Looking into the Past, Present and Future

25 years ago, a dream came true – Forensic Strategic Solutions (FSS) came to life! In October of 1992, FSS was created as the product of a plan to specialize in investigative financial services. We narrowed our scope to the specific field of fraud investigation, while also serving as expert witnesses on complicated financial matters. Many people thought such a niche practice would not be successful, but today, the industry continues to flourish. In fact, back in 1992, few people – especially in the general public – had even heard of forensic accounting. Most folks thought forensic accounting was providing accounting services to dead people!
Trust Your Employees, but Verify Their Actions

Trust Your Employees, but Verify Their Actions

Our team recently wrapped up another sizeable fraud examination for a small business whose trusted bookkeeper embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars. While the names and the faces of fraud change, the story remains the same: the employee you
Technology is Changing Auditing

Technology is Changing Auditing

Or… has technology already changed auditing? The accounting and auditing world is buzzing with talk of how automation and other technologies will reshape the accounting profession. Oh, how slow this world catches on! The reshape should have already taken place as both technology and automation have far surpassed the capabilities and knowledge of most auditors.
Analyzing Assumptions in a Cash Flow Forecast

Analyzing Assumptions in a Cash Flow Forecast

Forecasts of future cash flows within the income approach to business valuation are loaded with assumptions. During my nearly two decades of business valuation experience, I have reviewed hundreds of valuation reports prepared by other experts that serve as a constant reminder that mathematical accuracy does not always equate to a reasonable value. I have seen erroneous assumptions made by business appraisers that range from illogical disconnects within the valuation to outright errors or unsubstantiated speculation. 
Best Practices for Employers: Conflicts of Interest

Best Practices for Employers: Conflicts of Interest

In my last blog, I discussed why corruption in the workplace always requires a conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest arise when employees have interests that may make it difficult to maintain one’s duty of loyalty to their company in an objective and effective manner. Quashing all conflicts of interest within businesses would be difficult to conduct; therefore, it is important to know how to reduce the risks inherent in conflicts of interest.
Quickbooks Audit Trail: Fraudulent Behavior Detection

Quickbooks Audit Trail: Fraudulent Behavior Detection

The QuickBooks Audit Trail (or Audit Log, depending on the version) provides a log of each accounting transaction and denotes any additions, deletions or modifications affecting the integrity of the transaction. The tool captures every transaction from the time it is initially entered into QuickBooks, and tracks changes to the original entry, including transaction type, date, account, vendor/customer name, transaction amount, quantity, and price. The Audit Trail also reveals the User ID under which the entry, deletion or modification was made. The Audit Trail is a report built in the QuickBooks ReportCenter– all you have to do is click a button to generate the report.
Why Corruption Always Requires a Conflict of Interest

Why Corruption Always Requires a Conflict of Interest

When it comes to corruption, there is almost always a common denominator: a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest exists when an individual or corporation has the opportunity – real or perceived - to exploit their position for personal or corporate benefit. Corruption occurs when the individual or corporation takes advantage of that opportunity and indeed abuses their position for private gain.
Adding the Value: Business Valuation Expertise in Divorce Litigation – Part Two

Adding the Value: Business Valuation Expertise in Divorce Litigation – Part Two

In my last blog post, I explained what an active/passive appreciation study is, scenarios in which it would be conducted and the value that a business valuation expert brings to the table when performing the analysis. As a refresher, an active/passive appreciation study is often required in matrimonial litigation when an existing business or business interest is owned by one spouse prior to the marriage, or is gifted or bequeathed to one spouse during the marriage. Since we have covered the basics, we can now dive deeper and discuss the various phases and steps of an active/passive appreciation study.
The Digital Footprint: Where to Look

The Digital Footprint: Where to Look

The world of technology offers the opportunity for fraud experts to trace the “untraceable.” With technology becoming more popular and present in our lives by the day, people are conducting their lives more digitally, whether through email, texting, social media or Internet browsing. Collecting, analyzing and interpreting the electronic evidence of fraudulent activity is becoming more widespread in the fraud examination world, and will most likely soon become the standard.
Adding the Value: Business Valuation Expertise in Divorce Litigation

Adding the Value: Business Valuation Expertise in Divorce Litigation

When going through a divorce, determining the marital value of private business interests can often get tricky – this is especially true if one spouse has a separate ownership interest in a business. An active/passive appreciation study is often required in matrimonial litigation when an existing business or business interest is owned by one spouse prior to the marriage, or is gifted or bequeathed to one spouse during the marriage.