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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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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The amazing court reporters

I have testified at dozens of depositions and always had a court reporter present to transcribe my testimony. In my earlier days of testifying in a courtroom, a court reporter was always present. Today, court reporters in the courtroom are a rare sight. The courtrooms in Maricopa County Arizona Superior Court, for example, generally use …

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Why CPA testifying experts can’t accept contingent fee engagements

Attorneys are often asked to take on a litigation assignment where there is a potential for a large monetary amount to be awarded to their clients by the court. They may take on the work solely based on a contingent fee arrangement with their client. What this usually means is that if the attorney wins …

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Use of a Calculation Report in the Court Room

Per the AICPA Statement on Standards for Valuation Services #1 (SSVS #1), a valuation analyst may complete a calculation engagement for which he/she would submit a calculation report. A calculation engagement is much more limited in scope than a valuation engagement. A valuation engagement is performed for the purpose of expressing an opinion of value …

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Forensic Accounting & Alternative Solutions to Resolving Disputes

As a forensic accountant, I was recently involved in the mediation process of a very complex divorce case. Due the nature of the case, preparing for trial would be a long and expensive process for my client. In addition, in order to resolve the issues satisfactorily for both parties, a creative, and somewhat nontraditional, approach …

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AZ Child Support: FAQs of a Forensic Accountant

The Arizona Child Support Guidelines provide a standard of support for children and are based on both the needs of the children and the ability of the parents to pay. The Guidelines provide specific calculations to perform in order to determine the proportional share that each parent should pay based on various factors. In order …

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In Federal Tax Court Your Report Is Your Testimony

The level of detail and the manner of explanation in a valuation report for tax compliance purposes is extremely important as the report serves as the expert’s direct testimony in Federal Tax Court. It’s interesting to observe the important steps that families take to protect their assets – hiring top wealth management teams, tax consultants, …

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Deposition Testifying Tips for Beginners – Part II

We continue with more tips for the first-time deposition testifier. Read Part I here. More Easy Questions – You will be asked some more really easy questions related to such topics as the name of your employer, and a bit about your work history including your current position.  You may also be asked whether you …

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