Demystifying Valuation, Economic Damages + Forensic Accounting

Disaster relief fraud, don’t fall victim

My heart, as many others, goes out to the people of Houston and the surrounding cities and towns affected by Hurricane Harvey. I experienced the storm surge created by Hurricane Isabel in 2003. My home was within inches of flooding and my next door neighbor completely lost his home simply because the typography of his …

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How to market your business for a potential sale

Recently, a number of clients have engaged us to value their business because they do not have a firm grasp of what their company is worth and they are considering selling their interest in the near future. After we performed the assignment and met with the client to discuss the value drivers of their business, …

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Who are the buyers for your business?

There is a reason it is called exit planning – there are steps required for you to ultimately leave the company you have built. One-step is to understand who will be on the other side of the negotiation table in a potential transaction. In most cases, there are five types of buyers in the market …

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Can you defer the payment of estate tax?

According to Internal Revenue Code Section 6166, a personal representative (PR) may defer payment of federal estate tax if the decedent’s equity interest in a closely held business exceeds 35 percent of his adjusted gross estate. In order to be eligible for a Section 6166 election, the closely held business must qualify as an active …

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What’s my business worth? The age old question

Recently, this seems to be the number one question I receive from aging business owners that have begun to contemplate what to do next with their business. Business owners are beginning to realize they cannot work forever and are looking for options to liquidate their investment. So, what’s their business worth? What are a business …

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Corporate culture and the occurrence of fraud

“Tone at the Top” is an often used term when talking about corporate fraud and how to prevent it. Essentially “tone at the top” refers to the ethical and cultural atmosphere created in the workplace by leadership. If an organization’s leadership displays integrity, the employees are inclined to follow their lead. If however, employees believe …

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CPAs who testify – can they be advocates for their clients?

I was approached by a prospective client a few years ago requiring forensic accounting services in connection with his divorce. The prospective client made it clear to me what his ultimate objective was. He told me, “I want you to review documents I’m going to show you and conclude with me that my wife stole …

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Is the value of your business about to increase 12.5%?

Recent discussions by the new administration regarding changing corporate and individual tax rates got me thinking about how different income tax rates can affect the value of a company. For example, I ran some numbers with the following assumptions. The current effective tax rate on a pass-through company’s earnings at the individual level is 38 …

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Testifying for the first time – minimizing the jitters

In my former life – that is, before I became an accountant – as a police patrolman and detective on the Tucson, Arizona Police Department, I had the opportunity to testify on several criminal-type cases. Back in those days I would get pretty nervous before each of my court appearances. The mere pressure of waiting …

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Protecting against phishing scams this tax season

Betty opened up her email and scanned through her messages. One in particular stood out, from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), so she clicked on it and began to read. It appeared that there was an issue processing her refund, and the IRS needed some additional information from her. So, she clicked on the link …

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