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Behind the Numbers
® Edition
Volume 1

Question Mark Logo Number 2

Forensic Accounting:
Your Secret Weapon Against Fraud
     Is your company getting ripped off? Unfortunately, the answer is probably yes. But you'll be even more surprised by the culprit. These days, it's not a machine gun-toting mobster or sinister competitor that you have to fear the most. One of your own employees, armed with a computer or a color copier, can do more damage than Bonnie and Clyde ever dreamed of.
     A recent study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners showed the average organization loses about 6 percent of its total annual revenue to fraud and abuse committed by its own employees; that's an average of $9 a day per employee!
     How can you fight back? You need a secret weapon that you can pull out of your back pocket when you suspect fraud. You need someone who understands the motivation and methods of these criminals, who can uncover even the most deeply hidden
fraud, then support you in rooting it out. You need the services of a Forensic Accountant.      Forensic Accountant? It sounds like the punch line to: "What do you get when you cross Quincy with a calculator?" But nothing could be more serious in helping you protect the assets and reputation of your firm. A Forensic Accountant is a highly experienced auditor who is specially trained in the investigation of fraud. At times, the job is closer to a private detective than to an accountant. Like a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, a Forensic Accountant sniffs out suspicious items on your financial report, documents the analysis, helps you understand the "big picture" implications of the findings, determines your risk exposure, and presents credible courtroom testimony based on the investigation.      Why "Forensic?" Forensic refers to the level of detail at which Forensic Accountants investigate and the legal application of their findings. We all know the value of forensic medicine in solving a murder case. Forensic Accountants apply similar scientific techniques to solve cases of fraud.

Technology: the chosen weapon of the modern thief.
     Technology has enabled practitioners of fraud to grow more sophisticated in their methods, and the sums of money to grow more vast. Who hasn't heard the news stories of rogue traders who cover up losses of millions of dollars by manipulating the computer systems meant to monitor them? Fortunately, the same technology that aids the modern thief invariably leaves a tell-tale trail of data. This trail, when properly tracked, will take the thief down. A Forensic Accountant knows where to find these clues,

(continued on page 2)

Kessler &
Raid Major
     Michael G. Kessler & Associates exposed a major food counterfeiting and repackaging operation in Brooklyn, NY. Kessler's investigators, accountants and computer experts, accompanied by U.S. Marshals and representatives of the law firm of Brown and Fox, seized product, counterfeit packaging materials and computer and financial records from eight locations.      The raids were the end result of an in-depth investigation by Kessler. After the seizure, Kessler's team of Forensic Accountants pored over the suspect company's records and documented that the owners of these companies were netting millions of dollars per year through these illegal activities.

(continued on page 4)



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