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Data Sleuth: Using Data in Forensic Accounting Engagements and Fraud Investigations

Data Sleuth: Using Data in Forensic Accounting Engagements and Fraud Investigations

  • Author:
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
  • ISBN: 9781119834380
  • Published In: March 2022
  • Format: Hardback , 288 pages
  • Jurisdiction: International ? Disclaimer:
    Countri(es) stated herein are used as reference only

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    Straightforward, practical guidance for working fraud examiners and forensic accountants

    In Data Sleuth: Using Data in Forensic Accounting Engagements and Fraud Investigations, certified fraud examiner, former FBI support employee, private investigator, and certified public accountant Leah Wietholter delivers a step-by-step guide to financial investigation that can be applied to almost any forensic accounting use-case. The book emphasizes the use of best evidence as you work through problem-solving data analysis techniques that address the common challenge of imperfect and incomplete information.

    The accomplished author bridges the gap between modern fraud investigation theory and practical applications and processes necessary for working practitioners. She also provides:

    • Access to a complimentary website with supplementary resources, including a Fraud Detection Worksheet and case planning template
    • Strategies for systematically applying the Data Sleuth® framework to streamline and grow your practice
    • Methods and techniques to improve the quality of your work product

    Data Sleuth is an indispensable, hands-on resource for practicing and aspiring fraud examiners and investigators, accountants, and auditors. It’s a one-of-a-kind book that puts a practical blueprint to effective financial investigation in the palm of your hand.

  • FOREWORD

    PREFACE

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    CHAPTER 1: Building a Data Sleuth Team

    The First Team

    The Forensic Accountant

    Technical and Strategic

    Thorough and Efficient

    Detail Oriented and Effective Communication

    Accounting Knowledge and Legal Knowledge

    Meeting Deadlines and Developing Business

    Forensic Accountant Problems

    The Scalability Problem

    The Strategy Problem

    The Review Problem

    The Sustainability Problem

    Data Sleuth Solutions

    The Scalability Solution

    The Strategy Solution

    The Review Solution

    The Sustainability Solution

    References

    CHAPTER 2: The Data Sleuth Process

    Engagement Types

    The Case of the Reimbursing Controller

    Data-Driven Results

    Simultaneously Managing Client Expectations and Objectivity

    The Case of the Mistaken Divorcee

    Don't Be a Hired Gun

    There is a Middle Ground

    The Case of the Sentencing Hearing

    Professional Standards

    Professional Standards of Objectivity

    Conflicts of Interest

    Objectivity and Investigating Facts

    The Data Sleuth Process

    Client Onboarding

    The Case of the Next Day Deposition

    Risk-Based Analysis

    Case Planning

    Key Interviews

    Open-Source Research

    The Case of the Missing Inventory

    Data Analysis

    Other Data Sources and Evidence

    Subject Interviews

    Communication of Findings

    CHAPTER 3: The Data Sleuth Necessity

    Forensic Accounting Engagements versus External Financial Statement Audits

    The Evolution of Forensic Accounting

    The Case of the Cash Back Payroll Scheme

    Start with the Evidence, Not the Scheme

    The Case of the Gambling Executive Director

    CHAPTER 4: Data Sleuth Considerations

    Investigations Impact Real People

    The Case of the Non-Existent Inventory

    The Fraud Formula

    Staying on Task with Purpose in Mind

    The Investigation Decision Tree for a Data Sleuth

    Ensure the allegations fall within the investigator’s expertise

    Identify analysis and evidence required to verify allegations

    Verify the legitimacy of the allegations

    Investigate with client goals and possible recovery avenues in mind

    Recovery Avenues

    Recovery Avenue: Criminal Prosecution

    Recovery Avenue: Civil Proceedings

    Recovery Avenue: Insurance Reimbursement

    The Case of the Man Cave

    CHAPTER 5: Client Communication and Involvement

    The Case of the Client’s Drama

    Client Inquiry and Initial Meetings

    Initial Client Meetings

    Client Expectations

    Data Procurement

    Client Involvement During an Investigation

    Client Feedback

    The Case of the Overlooked Loss

    Ongoing Client Communication

    CHAPTER 6: The Data Sleuth Case Plan

    The Data Sleuth Process

    The Case of the Duplicate Payroll

    The Client’s Investigation Priorities

    Evaluate the Subject’s Access through Risk-Based Analysis

    Data Sleuth Analysis Framework

    Data Sleuth Analysis Framework Applications

    Case Example: Estate Dispute

    Case Example: Embezzlement

    Case Example: Partnership Dispute

    Case Example: Divorce

    Case Example: Economic Damages

    From Conceptual Venn Diagram to Comparative Data Analysis

    The Data Analysis Plan

    Investigation Priority Number 1

    Investigation Priority Number 2

    Investigation Priority Number 3

    Data and Information Gathering

    Communication of the Case Plan

    The Case of the Duplicate Payroll – Conclusion

    CHAPTER 7: Risk-Based Analysis

    The Case of the Puzzling Entries

    Focus on Cash

    Money In

    Money Out

    Accounting Records and Interviews

    The Benefits of Risk-Based Analysis

    The Case of the Puzzling Entries - Conclusion

    Risk Focus in Audits v. Risk Focus in Investigations

    The Case of the Mom of the Year

    Consideration of Risk in Fraud Investigations

    Money In

    Money Out

    Case Findings 1

    Altered Bank Statements

    Investigation Findings

    The Case of the Mom of the Year - Conclusion

    Evaluating Risk in Divorce Cases and Estate and Trust Disputes

    Divorce Cases

    Estate and Trust Disputes

    CHAPTER 8: Data Sources and Data Processing Techniques

    Data Sources Explained

    Quantitative and Qualitative Data Sources

    Data Sources for Quantitative Evidence of Missing Money or Loss or Subject’s Benefit

    Standard Data Sources

    Standard Data Source: Bank Statements

    Standard Data Source: Credit Card Statements

    Standard Data Source: Payroll Reports

    Non-Standard Data Sources

    Non-Standard Data Source: System Exports

    Non-Standard Data Source: Paper Conversion

    Data Sources for Qualitative Evidence

    Using Quantitative and Qualitative Data Sources

    Data Processing Techniques

    Relevant Period

    Getting organized before beginning data processing

    Considerations before Processing Data

    Account Scheduling Steps

    Formatting Account Schedules and Normalizing Payees

    CHAPTER 9: Standard Data Sleuth Analyses: Comparative Analysis and Source and Use Summaries

    Comparative Analysis

    The Case of the Cash Flow Fiasco

    Source and Use Summary and Analysis

    Bank Account Source and Use Analysis

    Sources (Deposits/Credits)

    Uses (Expenditures/Debits)

    How to Use the Bank Account Source and Use Summary Results

    Credit Card Account Source and Use Summary

    Sources (Payments/Credits)

    Uses (Purchases/Advances/Balance Transfers/Other Charges)

    How to Use the Credit Card Source and Use Summary Results

    CHAPTER 10:Standard Data Sleuth Analyses: Interesting Data Findings, Risk Indicator Analysis, and Payroll Analysis

    Interesting Data Findings

    Standard IDF Data Analysis Tests

    Benford’s Analysis

    Even-Dollar Amounts

    Large Individual Payments

    Month-Over-Month Pivot Table

    Extract Detailed Transactions from Source and Use Summaries

    Using Accounting Records in the Interesting Data Findings Analysis

    Create an Interesting Data Findings Summary

    Risk Indicator Analysis

    Risk Indicator Analysis Steps

    Example for Using Risk Indicator Analysis

    Payroll Analysis

    Ghost Employees

    Data Analysis Test: Number of Employees

    Data Analysis Test: Duplicate Social Security Numbers

    Data Analysis Test: Employee Records without Addresses

    Data Analysis Test: Employee Records with Duplicate Addresses

    Data Analysis Test: Total Risk Indicators and Comparing to Payroll Records

    The Case of the Limited Payroll Records

    Overpayments of Payroll

    Data Analysis Test: Pay Date Review

    Data Analysis Test: Even-Dollar Payments of Net Pay and Expense Reimbursements

    Data Analysis Test: Days of the Week

    Data Analysis Test: Large Individual Payments

    Data Analysis Test: Number of Payments to Employees Per Month

    Risk Indicator Analysis and Comparative Analysis

    The Case of the Overpaid Administrator

    CHAPTER 11: Findings, Reports and Testimony

    Findings

    Reports

    AReport for Criminal Charges

    Report Recommendations for Law Enforcement Referral

    An Expert Report for Civil Litigation

    An Expert Report for Insurance Reimbursement

    Report Organization Recommendations

    Testimony

    CHAPTER 12:Practice the Data Sleuth Process

    Review of the Data Sleuth Case Plan

    Review of Data Sleuth Data Processing

    Review of The Data Analysis Plan and Standard Data Sleuth Analyses

    Case Study: The Case of the Disappearing Business

    Case Study 1: Exercise 1

    Case Study: The Case of the Sneaky CFO

    Case Study 2: Exercise 1

    Initial Client Meeting with Jack

    Case Study 2: Exercise 2

    Chapter 13:The Cases That Went Wrong

    The Client Who Believes He was Wronged

    The Case of the Inaccurate Insurance Claim

    The Case of the Unreconciled Cash Drawer

    The Client Whose Decisions Impact an Investigation

    The Case of the Overworked Office Manager

    The Office Manager

    The Analysis

    The Interview

    The Client’s Decision

    Chapter 14: Data Sleuth Expansion

    Data Sleuth Empowers the Curious

    Data Sleuth Divisions

    Public Accounting Firms

    Consulting and Advisory Firms

    The Case of the Phony Professional

    Law Firms

    Law Enforcement

    The Future of Data Sleuth

    Data Sleuth as Prevention

    Licenses, Credentials, and Professional Development

    Appendix: Case Study Exercise Solution Recommendations

    Case Study 1: Exercise 1 - Solution Recommendations

    Case Study 2: Exercise 1 - Solution Recommendations

    Case Study 2: Exercise 2 - Solution Recommendations

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    ABOUT THE WEBSITE

    INDEX

  • Leah Wietholter is a Certified Fraud Examiner, private investigator, Certified Public Accountant, and CEO of Workman Forensics in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She previously worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and as a Senior Certified Fraud Examiner at a public accounting firm in Tulsa. She runs The Investigation Game, an interactive continuing education experience and podcast that explores financial investigation strategies.

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