Essay Instructions: Assignment 3: Forensic Accounting in Practice
Due Week 6 and worth 160 points
Using the WileyPlus resources, go to the ?Forensic Accountants: Fraud Busters? examplee.
Write a six to eight (6-8) page paper in which you:
Determine the most important five (5) skills that a forensic accountant needs to possess and evaluate the need for each skill. Be sure to include discussion regarding the relationship between the skill and its application to business operations.
Describe the role of a forensic accountant within a courtroom environment.
Analyze the legal responsibility a forensic accountant has while providing service to a business.
Research two (2) cases where forensics accountants have provided vital evidence in a case. Summarize the cases and the importance of the forensic accountants? role during each case.
Use at least five (5) quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not quality as academic resources.
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:
Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student?s name, the professor?s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
Analyze the components of the basic financial statements, and conduct trend and ratio analysis to assess a firm?s financial performance.
Use technology and information resources to research issues in contemporary business.
Write clearly and concisely about contemporary business using proper writing mechanics.
the WileyPlus resources, go to the ?Forensic Accountants: Fraud Busters? example.(see below)
Accounting professionals work in a variety of areas in and for business firms, government agencies, and not?for?profit organizations. They can be classified as public, management, government, and not?for?profit accountants.
A public accountant provides accounting services to individuals or business firms for a fee. Most public accounting firms provide three basic services to clients: (1) auditing, or examining, financial records; (2) tax preparation, planning, and related services; and (3) management consulting. Because public accountants are not employees of a client firm, they can provide unbiased advice about the firm's financial condition.
While there are hundreds of public accounting firms in the United States, a handful of firms dominate the industry. The four largest public accounting firms?Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)?collect almost $32 billion annually from U.S. clients alone. In contrast, the Minneapolis?based RSM McGladrey, the nation's fifth?largest accounting firm, has annual revenues of approximately $1.5 billion.6
Some years ago, public accounting firms came under sharp criticism for providing management consulting services to many of the same firms they audited. Critics argued that when a public accounting firm does both?auditing and management consulting?an inherent conflict of interest is created. In addition, this conflict of interest may undermine confidence in the quality of the financial statements accounting firms audit. The bankruptcies of some high?profile firms increased pressure on public accounting firms to end the practice. Legislation also established strict limits on the types of consulting services auditors can provide. For example, an accounting firm that audits a company's books cannot provide any other services to that company, including tax services. As a result, three of the four largest public accounting firms either sold large portions of their consulting practices or spun them off into separate companies, and they now concentrate on providing auditing and tax services. PwC, for instance, sold much of its consulting business to IBM.
As the ?Hit & Miss? feature outlines, a growing number of public accountants are also certified as forensic accountants, and some smaller public accounting firms actually specialize in forensic accounting. These professionals, and the firms that employ them, focus on uncovering potential fraud in a variety of organizations.
Hit & Miss
Forensic Accountants: Fraud Busters
When most people think of accountants, the image that probably comes to mind is that of someone poring over stacks of ledgers or computer printouts, calculator in hand. Although a good deal of accounting does involve ledgers and printouts, forensic accountants don't simply accept a company's numbers at face value?they are crime fighters. People who work in this growing field investigate such white?collar crimes as business fraud, improper financial reporting, and illegal investment schemes.
Forensic accounting is accounting performed in preparation for legal review. Forensic accountants take the skeptical view, investigating below the surface of an organization's accounting system to find out what actually happened. They may also testify as expert witnesses if a case goes to trial. The job requires a bachelor's degree in accounting and CPA certification, with further training in investigative techniques for certification as a certified fraud examiner (CFE) or a certified forensic accountant (CrFA).
When the energy giant Enron Corporation collapsed, forensic accounting investigations revealed that for several years, company executives had issued false financial statements that exaggerated the company's earnings and thereby increased the firm's stock prices. The statements painted a rosy picture of steady profits that met earnings expectations. In reality, Enron's own investments were doing badly, and its profits were nonexistent. The company was actually losing money. Even after the truth began to leak out and the company's stock prices fell, the executives continued to issue false financial statements in the hope of slowing the fall. In a federal trial, two former executives were convicted of conspiracy, wire fraud, and securities fraud.
Tracy Coenen, a forensic accountant and the head of Milwaukee?based Sequence Inc., says, ?Some people say I have a nose for fraud. ? The more complicated the puzzle, the better I like it.?
Questions for Critical Thinking
Describe how a shift in the economy has created a new career path for accounting students.
How might forensic accounting change the world of business?
Sources: ?Forensic Accounting,? PricewaterhouseCoopers New Zealand, http://www.pwc.com/nz, accessed June 1, 2010; Tracy L. Coenen, ?Enron: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,? Sequence Inc., http://www.sequence?inc.com, accessed June 1, 2010; James A. DiGabriele, ?Applying Forensic Skepticism to Lost Profits Valuations,? Journal of Accountancy, April 2010, http://www.journalofaccountancy.com; Bob Trompeter, ?Why Do You Need a Forensic Accountant Hired Gun?? Hutson Resource Group, February 23, 2010, http://hutsonresourcegroup.com; Rick Romell, ?Accountants Who Focus on Fraud,? Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 24, 2010, http://www.jsonline.com.
Certified public accountants (CPAs) demonstrate their accounting knowledge by meeting state requirements for education and experience and successfully completing a number of rigorous tests in accounting theory and practice, auditing, law, and taxes. Other accountants who meet specified educational and experience requirements and pass certification exams carry the title certified management accountant, certified fraud examiner, or certified internal auditor.
An accountant employed by a business other than a public accounting firm is called a management accountant. Such a person collects and records financial transactions and prepares financial statements used by the firm's managers in decision making. Management accountants provide timely, relevant, accurate, and concise information that executives can use to operate their firms more effectively and more profitably than they could without this input. In addition to preparing financial statements, a management accountant plays a major role in interpreting them. A management accountant should provide answers to many important questions:
Where is the company going?
What opportunities await it?
Do certain situations expose the company to excessive risk?
Does the firm's information system provide detailed and timely information to all levels of management?
Management accountants frequently specialize in different aspects of accounting. A cost accountant, for example, determines the cost of goods and services and helps set their prices. An internal auditor examines the firm's financial practices to ensure that its records include accurate data and that its operations comply with federal, state, and local laws and regulations. A tax accountant works to minimize a firm's tax bill and assumes responsibility for its federal, state, county, and city tax returns. Some management accountants achieve a certified management accountant (CMA) designation through experience and passing a comprehensive examination.
Management accountants are usually involved in the development and enforcement of organizational policies on such items as employee travel. As part of their job, many employees travel and accumulate airline frequent flyer miles and hotel reward points. While some organizations have strict policies over the personal use of travel perks, many do not.
Changing federal regulations affecting accounting and public reporting have increased the demand for management accountants in recent years. As a result, salaries for these professionals are rising.
Government and Not?for?Profit Accountants
Federal, state, and local governments also require accounting services. Government accountants and those who work for not?for?profit organizations perform professional services similar to those of management accountants. Accountants in these sectors concern themselves primarily with determining how efficiently the organizations accomplish their objectives. Among the many government agencies that employ accountants are the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the City of Fresno, California. The federal government alone employs thousands of accountants.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: Use at least 7 scholarly articles in professional accounting and business journals that pertain to ethics in Forensic accounting (possibly in areas where fraud is prevalent).
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: This is a four page paper on Forensic Accounting,within this paper it must have the following abstract, discussion, conclusion, and references.
Customer is requesting that (heatherk13) completes this order.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: I have attached a copy of the requirements per the university:
The topic for paper is "The value of accounting standards (discussing how the focus of accounting is to serve capital markets and make the markets work efficiently and internationally harmonized standards".
Assignment 5 Problem
There are three objectives to this assignment:
Attain research skills. This is determined by the breadth of your analysis, the content of your report and your bibliography.
Increase specific knowledge of your topic. This is determined by the depth of your analysis and the content of your report.
Improve report writing skills. This is determined by the content of your report, your use of appropriate professional terminology, and your use of correct grammar, spelling, and headings and subheadings. It is further judged by your development of an appropriate introduction and conclusion. Some incorporation of accounting theory in your report would also be beneficial.
To further assist you in the successful completion of your project, the following, more detailed suggestions will be of assistance:
It is important that your topic reaches beyond the course notes and can be adequately addressed within a minimum of 7 to 8 pages.
Three to five pages of your paper should be dedicated to describing the information obtained on the accounting topic, and two pages to providing your analysis. Indicate why the issue is significant to the accounting profession.
At or near the minimum length requirement, students may not obtain sufficient depth or breadth of analysis to get top marks, although a well-researched and well-written paper can still obtain 75% to 85%. Assignments greater than 12 pages in length will be penalized.
Papers should be double-spaced, with 1-inch margins, and should use a 12-point typeface.
Ensure that you include a strong conclusion supported by your research and analysis. Analyze something current and relevant to the accounting profession or accounting theory?a topic with controversy in it might be a good start. CGA magazines (topics like harmonization of international accounting standards, or investigative and forensic accounting), CA magazines (topics like auditor independence, ethics, Web trust), and CMA magazines are good sources for topic and research ideas.
Include a bibliography with your assignment to indicate sources used (beyond the course notes), such as books, articles, magazines, and Web sites.
Excerpt From Essay:
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