Investigation is the act of determining whether criminal matters such as employee theft, securities fraud (including falsification of financial statements), identity theft, or insurance fraud have occurred. Investigations may occur in civil and criminal matters.
There are two different ways that a fraud investigation starts. One type of investigation begins when an actual fraud has been identified, and maybe one or mere perpetrators are identified too. The other type of investigation starts with a strong suspicion of fraud, but no proof of theft.
While forensic accounting and fraud auditing are related, fraud auditing is more anticipatory. Fraud auditors try to control a situation before something happens, whereas a Forensic CPA may be hired after the fact.
A Forensic CPA is usually hired after a company suspects theft, fraud or embezzlement.
Forensic CPAs are suspicious. They must be able to apply their accounting knowledge to legal issues. A Forensic CPA will be asked to assist in civil and criminal investigations by conducting a fraud investigation, assisting in depositions, writing an expert report and testifying as an expert witness.
Susan Brown is a Forensic CPA,/CFF and a CFE who combines technical expertise with creativity and a knack for finding key pieces of evidence. The creativity component becomes crucial when you are trying to devise ways of verifying information or finding new evidence.
Susan Brown previously worked for a law enforcement agency as a forensic auditor who provided targeted forensic accounting assistance with audits, investigations, inspections and performance reviews conducted to determine the efficiency, effectiveness and productivity of governmental programs. She investigated alleged improprieties at all levels of city government including the detection of fraud and the collection of evidence to support or refute allegations involving employee theft malfeasance in office, payroll fraud, conspiracy, and misappropriation of public funds.
Susan Brown and her firm, Brown Forensic Accounting, have conducted financial fraud examinations for various businesses and government agencies in the State of Louisiana. The firm has assisted in identifying, quantifying and compiling the information into a Fraud Examination Report which the organization and/or government agency can provided to law enforcement to aid in the prosecution of the criminal matter.