of the Month: Forensic Accounting Resources
Susan B. Anders
JUNE 2008 - In
keeping with this issue’s focus on fraud and forensic accounting,
this month’s column covers the approaches taken to address
these issues on the web by five of the largest accounting firms:
Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, Grant Thornton, KPMG,
Forensic Center presents itself as bringing together leaders in
forensic investigations to consider topics, trends, and research.
Although the center’s resources are part of the larger Deloitte
website, its webpages have the appearance of a separate site.
The center uses a variety of media, from web articles and PDF
downloads to videos and podcasts.
can be reached from the homepage, the middle of which displays
introductions and links to three featured resources: the “ForThoughts”
newsletter, a booklet on fraud control, and a review of SEC enforcement
releases. On the left is a menu of links to resources: “about
the Deloitte Forensic Center,” “Forensic Center videos,”
and “forensic issues in the news.” The right side
of the homepage promotes selected materials from the site under
the heading “explore what’s new.” A link to
“view all” connects to a table of contents—an
excellent resource to quickly review and access the website’s
materials. Beneath the featured resources in the center of the
homepage are links to newsletter, article, webcast, and podcast
Forensic Center’s videos are generally 30 to 40 minutes
long, and some offer links to related articles on the website.
“Forensic issues in the news” provides two articles
in PDF format on financial statement fraud. A third article on
CFOs convicted of fraud links to CFO.com. “ForThoughts”
presents a lead article for each issue. The “ForThoughts”
archive includes related videos, podcasts, and whitepapers, as
well as printing and e-mail links. “Forensic issues—perspectives
from around the world” includes podcasts, web articles,
and longer documents from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu offices around
the world, including a 10-page report on a due diligence survey
and a 15-page briefing paper on conducting forensic investigations,
both available in PDF format.
Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services webpage focuses on
attracting potential clients, and promotes a risk-management approach
through its focus on antifraud corporate compliance, fraud investigations,
dispute services, and forensic technology and discovery. PDF brochures
are available for each of the listed services. The main page provides
links to fraud services contacts, with direct phone numbers and
e-mail links. A summary of “success stories” describes
of the main page presents featured resources of an article on
corporate compliance and a 10-page newsletter on international
approaches to dispute issues. The third featured item deserves
special mention. It is a PDF presentation that summarizes a survey
of employees in 13 European countries with regard to fraud risk
mitigation. The webpage that connects to the presentation also
offers separate analyses of the 13 individual countries, comparing
each one to the entire survey population, as well as a link to
a press release that summarizes the results.
Forensics, Investigations and Litigation main page provides a
menu bar with links to the service areas of forensic technology,
intellectual property consulting, forensic accounting and fraud,
litigation and disputes, and expert witness testimony. The center
of the page is dedicated to marketing the firm’s services,
followed by the name and phone number of the national partner
in charge of the area. Links to additional contacts can be found
on the right side.
of the main page links to articles on electronically stored information
(ESI), including two from www.law.com concerning recent court
decisions regarding ESI in litigation and computer forensics,
and a Grant Thornton article on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
for ESI. The firm also provides an index of forensic services
publications, authored by Grant Thornton staff, via a link on
the right side of the homepage. These documents are reprints of
articles published in external journals, such as Financial
Executive, and are available in PDF format. Topics include
gaming compliance, whistleblower programs, due diligence, and
behavioral aspects of fraud.
Forensic webpage features specific services, such as fraud and
misconduct investigations, fraud risk management, forensic technology,
corporate intelligence, dispute advisory services, intellectual
property and contract compliance, and anti–money laundering.
The connecting pages for these topics provide brief descriptions
of the services.
gems on the KPMG Forensic website are four PDF files that can
be found on the right side of the main page under the heading
“insight & comment.” The first is the “Global
Anti-Money Laundering Survey 2007,” which addresses the
issues facing banking institutions. Users can download the entire
survey, the appendices, or individual sections of the report.
document, “Cross Border Investigations: Effectively Meeting
the Challenge,” reports the results of a survey of 103 senior
business executives in 21 countries. “Fraud Risk Management:
a Strategy for Prevention, Detection, and Response” summarizes
fraud risk management, regulations around the world, and effective
management practices. The last document, “Fighting Fraud,”
covers practical approaches to fighting financial crime, with
specific attention to Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and offshoring.
forensic accounting resources page, Dispute Analysis and Investigations
(DA&I), is dedicated to describing the specific services that
fall under the related categories of dispute support, forensic
accounting and analysis, investigations, and forensic technology
solutions. Contact information for the global DA&I leader
is available on the right, and directly below are several links
to other resources from PwC; of specific interest is the 2006
“ViewPoint” newsletter on fraud.
of the DA&I main page is a link to the 2007 Global Economic
Crime Survey (GECS), which examined 5,400 companies in 40 countries
and interviewed more than 1,500 senior executives. The GECS main
page provides a brief description of the survey and connects to
a webpage of key findings with links to firm contacts, a list
of PDF reports on 25 different countries, a PDF file of the complete
survey, and a webpage with links to the 2003 and 2005
B. Anders, PhD, CPA, is a professor of accounting at St.
Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, N.Y.