Expert witness testimony

Fraud: "Elementary, My Dear Watson"

The founder and chairman of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Joseph Wells, wrote an insightful series, The Fraud Beat, for the JofA on the basics of fraud investigation in small businesses. “Sherlock Holmes, CPA,” ( www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/aug2003/wells.htm and www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/sep2003/wells.htm ) explains what it takes to gather evidence, interview witnesses and

Commitments to Private Equity

Note : Includes venture capital, LBO, mezzanine, turnaround and recapitalization-focused funds. Source: Thomson Venture Economics/National Venture Capital Association; Goldman Sachs for 2005 buyout data. Determining fair value requires managers to exercise judgment. While each manager’s judgment may result in different but supportable views on valuation, using common guidelines consistent with

Fair Value: Challenges to the Private Equity Industry

The private equity (PE) market (including venture capital, buy-out, mezzanine and similar longer-term, illiquid investments) has expanded exponentially over the past 10 years. U.S. GAAP requires private equity (PE) investments be stated at fair value. Given the nuances inherent in PE, there can be significant challenges in determining the fair

Professional Issues

The AICPA augmented its CPA Marketing Tool Kit with a free brochure, How to Afford a Long, Happy Retirement, that practitioners can share with clients. Members can go to www.aicpa.org/cpamarketing/ and print color or black-and-white versions that leave space for a CPA firm’s name and contact information. The tool kit

Ethics

PEEC issued an exposure draft of a new ethics interpretation under Rule 101, Independence (AICPA, Professional Standards, volume 2, ET section 101.01) ( www.aicpa.org/members/div/ethics/ethics ). The proposed interpretation defines the terms financial interest , direct financial interest and indirect financial interest and provides guidance on their practical application. Comments are

Personal Financial Planning

The Institute, the AICPA Foundation, the National Endowment for Financial Education and the American Red Cross jointly published Disasters and Financial Planning: A Guide for Disaster Preparedness, which CPAs can use to help consumers obtain insurance and take other loss-mitigation steps before a catastrophe occurs. “Protecting the public interest is

International

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) proposed four international auditing standards (ISAs) ( www.ifac.org/guidance/exd-outstanding.php ): ISA 600 (revised), The Audit of Group Financial Statements; ISA 260 (revised), The Auditor’s Communication with Those Charged with Governance; ISA 705, Modifications to the Opinion

Accounting

The SEC released Staff Accounting Bulletin (SAB) no. 107, Share-Based Payment ( www.sec.gov/interps ). Its purpose is to help public companies implement FASB Statement no. 123 (revised 2004), Share-Based Payment ( www.fasb.org/pdf/fas123r.pdf ), which addresses transactions in which entities exchange their equity instruments for goods or services. The SAB does

Financial Literacy

The AICPA Personal Financial Planning Membership Section, state societies and the U.S. Department of Labor are offering free seminars to educate employers and service providers about their fiduciary responsibilities under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) ( www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/ebsa/ebsa2004898.htm ). Small business owners and CPAs are invited to attend sessions

Government Accounting

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued Concepts Statement no. 3, Communication Methods in General Purpose External Financial Reports That Contain Basic Financial Statements, which defines various means of conveying information and provides criteria for effectively using them. The statement (# GC03) is available from GASB at http://store.yahoo.com/gasbpubs/gc03.html or at

Retirement

The AICPA augmented its CPA Marketing Tool Kit with a free brochure, How to Afford a Long, Happy Retirement, that practitioners can share with clients. Members can go to www.aicpa.org/cpamarketing/ and print color or black-and-white versions that leave space for a CPA firm’s name and contact information. The tool kit

Forensic And Litigation Services

The Institute’s Forensic & Litigation Services Committee released Practice Aid 05-1, A CPA’s Guide to Family Law Services (# 055299JA), which provides practical guidance for practitioners providing services involving domestic relations, divorce relations and litigation and matrimonial disputes. This product is available from the AICPA online at www.cpa2biz.com or by

FYI

Cheryl Linthicum, Mark Taylor and Teri Yohn will begin one-year terms in August as academic accounting fellows in the SEC’s Office of the Chief Accountant. Linthicum is associate professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio; Taylor holds the John P. Begley Chair in Accounting at Creighton University in

So You Want to Be an Expert Witness

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY THE RANGE OF ACCOUNTING ISSUES involved in court disputes today covers so many aspects of finance that CPAs of all types may be qualified to offer expert witness services in one or more areas. CPA LITIGATION SERVICES ENCOMPASS several roles: expert witness (who renders an opinion before a

Attorney-Client Privilege: CPAs and the E-Frontier

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE EXTENDS to accountants under the Kovel rule when a CPA acts at the direction of the lawyer to provide information for the client. Inadvertent disclosure of confidential information may lead to loss of the privilege. A PRACTITIONER WHO DOES LITIGATION CONSULTING should document the circumstances of

Niche Development Tips

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY CPAs WITH DIVERSE EXPERTISE tell JofA readers what niche development techniques or processes helped them accumulate clients in a certain category. To learn about the automotive industry, for example, one firm attended automotive conferences, took dealership classes and interviewed car dealers. TO BUILD A FORENSIC ACCOUNTING, family law

Start a BV Engagement the Right Way

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY EACH VALUATION ASSIGNMENT IS UNIQUE, and often there’s more than one way to answer a question, interpret a fact or approach a problem. How the valuator prepares the client for the BV engagement sets its direction and becomes the foundation of the engagement letter and, ultimately, a responsible

Five Tips to Steer Clear of the Courthouse

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AS PART OF THEIR RISK MANAGEMENT strategy, companies are increasingly hiring an array of experts, including CPAs, to review their policies and controls and scrutinize internal procedures to help keep them out of the courthouse. CPAs ACCUSTOMED TO ASSESSING controls can recommend these “best practices” to their clients:

Modeling and Discounting Future Damages

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY IN LITIGATION INVOLVING FUTURE ECONOMIC damages, experts’ calculations must discount the amounts to present value. The courts have offered little guidance on appropriate discount rates. BUSINESS DAMAGES MAY BE FOR THE TERM of a contract, the technological life of a product or until the plaintiff could reasonably be

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