In conducting investigations, a forensic accountant often will analyze dates and time to determine if fraud or minority shareholder oppression may be present.
Date and time analysis can be used for a variety of purposes, explained David Anderson, a Philadelphia forensic accountant and principal of David Anderson & Associates, a Philadelphia forensic accounting firm that provides a full range of fraud investigation and fraud deterrence programs in the Delaware Valley.
For example, Anderson said many fraudsters with access to business accounting systems enter transactions after hours or on weekends so no one can observe them. Hence, in analyzing the date and time of transaction entries, a forensic accountant will conduct additional analysis of transactions entered after hours or on weekends to determine the propriety of those transactions, said Anderson, a Philadelphia forensic accountant who also is a Certified Fraud Examiner in Philadelphia. He added that the forensic accountant can also investigate online off-hours access to systems to determine whether unauthorized outsiders have accessed the company’s systems.
In minority shareholder oppression cases, as well as in marital dissolution cases, a forensic accountant will analyze the date and time of reimbursable travel, meal and entertainment expenses, Anderson said.
“In one recent case, I found that over a period of three years the majority shareholder had submitted reimbursable meal expenses for over 100 meals on Friday nights, Saturdays, Sundays, nights before a holiday and on the holidays themselves,” said David Anderson, a forensic accounting expert in Philadelphia with experience in conducting fraud investigations and establishing comprehensive fraud deterrence programs in the Delaware Valley.
When deposed, Anderson said the shareholder, whose company was a retail business, claimed that each of these meals – some of which were for hundreds of dollars – were for entertaining customers. However, no customers were specifically identified with any of the meals.
Furthermore, when the shareholder did provide the names of specific customers that he claimed to have entertained, all but one of the customers had purchased less than $500 from the business over the three-year period, said Anderson, a Philadelphia forensic accountant whose firm provides a full range of forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley.
In a marital dissolution case, Anderson – a Certified Fraud Examiner in Philadelphia – said he noted frequent travel, meal and entertainment reimbursements that occurred over weekends and holiday periods. This travel included international travel even though the business was a local business. In analyzing the supporting documents, forensic accounting expert Anderson said he found that all of the travel was for vacations for the business owner and his girlfriend.
Dates of birth can also be utilized by forensic accountants to verify the validity of employee social security numbers, Anderson said. Certain tables are available that provide approximate information regarding when an individual applied for his/her social security number, explained Anderson, a Philadelphia forensic accountant and principal of David Anderson & Associates, a Philadelphia forensic accounting firm that provides a full range of fraud investigation and fraud deterrence programs in the Delaware Valley.
Running these tables against the birthdates of employees can identify potential mismatches, such as a 30-year-old worker whose social security number falls in the range of numbers that were issued prior to 1950, said Certified Fraud Examiner and forensic accounting expert Anderson. These mismatches, he said, can then be further investigated to determine whether or not the employee has furnished a valid social security number.
This blog is the third in a series of four posts that will examine the so-called tricks of the trade that forensic accountants use when conducting fraud investigations.
If you require the services of a Certified Fraud Examiner in Philadelphia or any other forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, please contact the Philadelphia forensic accounting firm of David Anderson & Associates by calling David Anderson at 267-207-3597 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About David Anderson & Associates
David Anderson & Associates is a Philadelphia forensic accounting firm that provides a full range of forensic accounting services in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley. The experienced professionals at David Anderson & Associates provide forensic accounting, business valuation, fraud investigation, fraud deterrence, litigation support, economic damage analysis, business consulting and outsourced CFO services. Company principal David Anderson is a forensic accounting expert in Philadelphia who has more than 30 years of experience in financial and operational leadership positions and is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Valuation Analyst and a Certified Fraud Examiner in Philadelphia.