Website of the Month: Forensic Accounting Resources

By Susan B. Anders

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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, and Pricewater-houseCoopers.

Deloitte & Touche

The Deloitte (www.deloitte.com) 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.

Most resources 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 archives.

The Deloitte 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.

Ernst & Young

The Ernst &Young (www.ey.com) 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 specific engagements.

The center 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.

Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton’s (www.grantthornton.com) 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.

The bottom 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.

KPMG

KPMG’s (www.kpmg.com) 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.

The real 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.

The second 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: Developing 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.

PricewaterhouseCoopers

The PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (www.pwc.com) 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.

The highlight 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
surveys.


Susan B. Anders, PhD, CPA, is a professor of accounting at St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, N.Y.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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