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February 21, 2012
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Brought to you by the American Institute of CPAs

  Forensic Corner 
  • Why CPAs should consider assisting criminal defendants
    CPAs can play an important role in helping criminal defendants protect their right to a fair hearing. A CPA can assist clients in developing a defense to allegations such as fraud and embezzlement. It is also important to review the government's calculations to ensure a defendant is not held liable for damages that exceed their alleged crime. The Fraud Files Blog (2/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Survey: Companies want continuous audits
    Internal auditors increasingly are helping companies improve their operations, including risk-management functions, according to a survey of auditors by ACL Services. More auditors are helping companies implement processes using technology to improve their internal monitoring. The goal for most clients is to develop automated, continuous auditing. Business Finance (1/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Supreme Court shaped securities litigation with 2011 decisions
    The Supreme Court altered the landscape for class-action securities lawsuits in 2011, according to a report. Two cases, Erica P. John Fund v. Halliburton and Matrixx Initiatives v. Siracusano, kept the bar low for plaintiffs seeking to hold defendants liable for possible securities fraud. Another case, Janus Capital Group v. First Derivative Traders, benefited the defendant by limiting private causes of action under Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act. Counsel (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Digital forensics revolutionizes internal investigations
    The practice of digital forensics is evolving rapidly, a security expert writes. Digital investigators can do more than retrieve data from devices. They can also use data to reconstruct past events to explain how computers were used to perpetrate wrongdoing. Forensics experts can help companies dig deeper into internal investigations while uncovering ways to improve controls. SMT Magazine online (1/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Expert witnesses aren't immune from discovery under FRCP Rule 26
    Recent amendments to Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were designed to exclude drafts and communications between attorneys and expert witnesses from discovery. However, some material might be discoverable under an exception, including material related to certain facts or assumptions. Attorneys and experts should continue to operate as if their communications are subject to discovery, this article explains. New York Law Journal (1/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Valuation Corner 
  • FASB proposal aims to simplify testing of intangible assets
    A proposal from the Financial Accounting Standards Board would simplify impairment testing of indefinite-lived intangible assets. The rule would let companies forgo testing of assets such as trademarks and licenses when their value is unlikely to have changed. The proposal would lower the cost of impairment testing, the FASB said. The existing rule requires companies to test indefinite-lived intangible assets annually. (1/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Don't discount Black-Scholes equation, mathematician says
    Mathematician and author George Szpiro sings the praises of the Black-Scholes equation in this interview. The formula gave investors a better way to value options and launched a revolution in finance. However, the equation is only as good as the data that go into it. "One must not rely blindly on any model but make use of it wisely," Szpiro said. "People who abuse the model created additional risk." Forbes (1/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • High valuation was the kiss of death for one tech company
    The story of Ziff Davis Enterprise offers an example of how a sky-high valuation can be a blessing and a curse for a tech company. Ziff's business strategy turned out to be unsustainable after an acquisition by Venture Partners in 2007. The company eventually succumbed to a mountain of debt and was sold by its lenders. The lesson: Companies should be careful not to chase a higher valuation at the cost of long-term viability. (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Facebook IPO raises questions about company's valuation
    Facebook is preparing for an initial public offering, but investors should think twice before investing in the social media giant, according to this article. The company could value itself as high as $100 billion, despite questions about its earning potential. Plus, there are risks that could drag down the stock's value, including unstable ad revenue and competition from Internet rivals. (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SEC quizzes private-equity firms on valuation
    The Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know more about how private-equity firms value assets. The agency sent a letter to several firms asking for details about their valuation methods as well as certain client communications. The request is informational, and the firms are not under investigation, the SEC said. Bloomberg Businessweek (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Private Investigator Licensing Matrix is live
    The Private Investigator Licensing Matrix is designed to provide illustrative information with respect to legislative bills, state statutes and websites that are to be utilized only as reference information to help CPAs determine whether their practice activities warrant the need for a private investigator license within different states. Accessible by FVS Section members. Not a member? Join now! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Build on your CPA: Demonstrate your expertise with the CFF and ABV credentials
    Demonstrate your expertise in financial forensic accounting or business valuation with the CPA-exclusive Certified in Financial Forensics and Accredited in Business Valuation credentials. Registration for the spring CFF exam and ABV exam is open. The exam assesses your knowledge on all aspects of the CFF and ABV Content Specification Outlines. The Financial Forensic Accounting Education Series and the ABV Examination Review self-study course are available to help you prepare. For more information, visit or LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Working drafts of AICPA Accounting and Valuation Guides are released
    Comments are due for the working drafts of the AICPA's Accounting and Valuation Guides: Testing Goodwill for Impairment and Assets Acquired to Be Used in Research and Development Activities by March 15. Read the draft guide and submit your comments. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AICPA FVS Events 
  • Register for the AICPA Expert Witness Skills Workshop
    You have been hired as an expert witness at trial. You have prepared your opinion and will be facing the court to have it examined. Are you as prepared as you can be? Will your testimony be accepted by the court? Join us July 26 to 28 in Chicago for the AICPA Expert Witness Skills Workshop, designed to prepare you like no other workshop to be an effective expert witness at trial. FVS Section members save $100. Not a member? Join now! Seats are limited! Register. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Save your seat to one of the AICPA's 2012 National Business Valuation Schools
    Save your seat to one of the AICPA's 2012 National Business Valuation Schools. The school is an intensive program that covers crucial topics that practitioners need to know about valuing a business. This intense, five-day course will expose participants to fundamental relevant theory, applications, best practices and more. FVS Section members save $100. Not a member? Join now! Register for one of these dates and locations: LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about FVSJoin FVS Section  |  Become a CFF  |  Become an ABV
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe."
--John Muir,
Scottish-American environmentalist and writer

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Phone: 888.777.7077
Fax: 800.362.5066
About the Forensic and Valuation Services Section
The Forensic and Valuation Services Section is designed to provide CPAs with a vast array of resources, tools and information about forensic and valuation services. The FVS Section serves CPAs who hold the Accredited in Business Valuation and Certified in Financial Forensics specialty credentials, members of the FVS Section, AICPA members and others.
About the Accredited in Business Valuation Credential
The Accredited in Business Valuation program provides specialized access to information, education, tools and support that enhance credential holders' ability to make a genuine difference for their clients and employers. ABV credential holders may brand or position themselves as premier business valuation service providers who differentiate themselves by going beyond the core service of reaching a conclusion of value and creating value for clients through the strategic application of this analysis.
About the Certified in Financial Forensics Credential
The Certified in Financial Forensics credential combines specialized forensic accounting expertise with the core knowledge and skills that make CPAs among the most trusted experts. The CFF credential encompasses fundamental and specialized forensic accounting skills that CPA practitioners apply in a variety of service areas, including: bankruptcy and insolvency; computer forensics; economic damages; family law; fraud investigations; litigation support; stakeholder disputes and valuations. To qualify, a CPA must be an AICPA member in good standing, have at least five years of experience in practicing accounting, and meet minimum requirements in relevant business experience and continuing professional education.

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