International Fraud Awareness Week is nearly over, but that doesn’t mean the conversations and actions stop. Do you have all the information you need to take the steps for fraud prevention? The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) has an abundance of free resources for you to learn what you can do.

International Fraud Awareness Week 2019 logo; a blue crescent moon-shape with the words "international fraud awareness week" in the top right cornerBecause fraud has a high cost – estimated at $3.7 trillion each year – the ACFE has provided content that focuses on providing insight and cost-effective tips for businesses and organizations to prevent fraud from happening. Some of the resources ACFE has available on their website include:

  • Fraud Prevention Checklist
  • “5 Fraud Tips Every Business Leader Should Act On”
  • Fraud Prevention Check-Up
  • Anti-Fraud Technology Benchmarking Report

For more information and resources from ACFE, visit www.fraudweek.com and www.acfeinsights.squarespace.com.

PKF Texas is a strong supporter of anti-fraud efforts and education and continues to work in the fraud and forensics sector with two Certified Fraud Examiners on our team:

To learn more about our services and how our team can help co-create and co-develop solutions with you, visit www.PKFTexas.com/Forensics.

In response to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Private Companies Practice Section’s Technical Issues Committee (TIC) request letter from May 13, 2019, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has voted to delay effective dates for three major standards for private companies and certain other entities. These standards include accounting for leases, credit losses (known as CECL) and hedging activities.

through a window, several black rolling chairs sit around a wooden table, a meeting room, maybe for FASB voting on delaying major standards

Currently, an Accounting Standards Update (ASU) is being drafted, which will change the effective dates. This will be issued after a formal written ballot by the board, expected to occur in November. FASB members shared that one of the advantages of the delay is to “allow preparers with limited resources to learn from the implementation performed by large public companies that possess more staffing and resources.”

Continue Reading Under FASB Vote, Effective Dates for Three Major Standards are Delayed

professional headshot of Danielle Supkis Cheek, a brunette woman wearing glasses with her hair pulled back smiling at the cameraWe have more exciting news! One of our Directors, Danielle Supkis Cheek, CPA, CFE, CVA, has been named a “40 Under 40” by CPA Practice Advisor. This is her sixth time receiving recognition for this award.

The 40 Under 40 Awards spotlight top practicing public accountants, educators and thought leaders, who are leading their profession by visibly and incrementally changing the accounting through exemplary leadership, innovative thinking, collaborative efforts to provide unity across generations and community outreach, which extends visibility of the profession outside the workplace.

This is the most recent of several honors Danielle has received this year, including:

Danielle is a Director in PKF Texas’ Entrepreneurial Advisory Services team and is the face of the fraud and forensics team. She is passionate and enthusiastic about her work, which will continue her drive for innovation in our firm, as well as the accounting industry. Currently she is the chair of the AICPA PCPS Technical Issues Committee (TIC).

To learn more about Danielle Supkis Cheek, visit www.PKFTexas.com.

As trusted business advisors, we enjoy working with you to co-create ideas and co-develop innovative solutions for your business. To supplement this, we also want to provide valuable information, including upcoming Houston events that we support, and think may be of interest to you.

  • Houston Business Journal
  • Greater Houston Partnership
  • Turnaround Management Association – Breakfast Meeting
  • Comerica Bank
  • YWCA Houston
  • Turnaround Management Association Network of Women – Lunch Panel
  • Turnaround Management Association and Secured Finance Network – Social Event
If you have questions about any event details or registration information, the organization-specific contacts are below. We hope to see you at any or all of these Houston events!

Continue Reading Mark Your Calendars! Upcoming October 2019 Houston Events…

As accountants and trusted business advisors, we enjoy working with you to co-create ideas and co-develop innovative solutions for your business. To supplement this, we also want to provide valuable information, including upcoming Houston events that we support, and think may be of interest to you.

  • KCA Houston Energy Breakfast
  • PKF Texas and Houston Business Journal
  • Client Exclusive – Employee Benefit Plan Seminar
  • Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce
  • National Association of Corporate Directors
  • Texas CPA Society – Houston Chapter

If you have questions about any event details or registration information, the organization-specific contacts are below. We hope to see you at any or all of these Houston events!

Continue Reading Mark Your Calendars! Upcoming September 2019 Houston Events…

We’re excited to share the news of one of our Directors, Danielle Supkis Cheek, CPA, CFE, CVA, being named as a “Woman Who Means Business” by the Houston Business Journal!

This is the third year in a row PKF Texas team members have been recognized for this honor — Sonia Freeman, Audit Director and Chief Culture Officer, in 2018; and Karen Love, Practice Growth Director, in 2017.

On October 3, 2019, Danielle will be awarded alongside 64 fellow “Women Who Mean Business” at the Marriott Marquis, and the Houston Business Journal will print a special section the following day, recognizing each honoree.

Danielle is a Director in PKF Texas’ Entrepreneurial Advisory Services team and is the face of the fraud and forensics team. She is passionate and enthusiastic about her work, which will continue her drive for innovation in our firm, as well as the accounting industry.

Breaking news this week – on Monday, May 13, 2019, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Private Companies Practice Section’s Technical Issues Committee (TIC) has sent a letter requesting the Financial Accounting Standards Board to delay the implementation of a new lease accounting standard for private companies.

The standard was made effective for public companies at the beginning of 2019, with an effective date for private companies slated for the start of 2020. TIC’s letter asks for a delay of one year for private company implementation.

According to a May 13, 2019 Journal of Accountancy article:

Continue Reading AICPA Technical Issues Committee Requests Delay of New Accounting Lease Standard

It’s Fraud Week, everyone!

For the week of November 11 – 17, supporters around the globe are promoting anti-fraud awareness and education to minimize the impact of fraud.

There’s a lot of information and resources out there, but what is imperative to know about fraud, how to detect it and what to do if there is fraud happening? We’ve done a series of videos on this topic, as well as published articles and informative pieces, but here are five key things to always keep in mind:

  1. Small- and medium-sized businesses are particularly at risk, and what makes them susceptible is the struggle with having enough resources (cash, time, and/or expertise) to have traditional controls and segregation of duties. For more details, click HERE.
  2. Some common indicators of employee fraud include: overly close relationship with suppliers, vendors or customers; destruction of files without proper authorization, resistance to providing information to auditors; and much more. For more details to see if your company is a victim of fraud, click HERE.
  3. The hotline is the number one way for tips to be reported, and that is the number one method of detecting fraud. Having a hotline reduces the median loss for profit by about half. For more details, click HERE to watch this episode of Entrepreneur’s Playbook.
  4. One of the first steps to take when you detect fraud is, assuming you’re in the position to be the head of the company, you need to call your attorney first. Getting the attorney involved on the front end can help prevent missteps through the investigation process, which you can accidentally do illegal things as you investigate the fraud. For more details, click HERE to watch this episode of Entrepreneur’s Playbook.
  5. One of the most effective methodologies to reduce the risk of fraud, according to the ACFE, is having a proactive data monitoring process. That reduces your risk of median amount of loss, as well as the duration of the loss by over 50%. For more details, click HERE to watch this episode of Entrepreneur’s Playbook.

Stay committed to not commit fraud!

For more information, visit PKFTexas.com or contact me at dcheek@pkftexas.com.

This blog post contains general information only. Pannell Kerr Forster of Texas, P.C. (PKF Texas) is not rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax or other professional advice or services. This blog post is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. The views expressed are mine and mine alone and do not represent the views of PKF Texas. PKF Texas is not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this blog post.

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m back again with Danielle Supkis Cheek, one of our directors, as well as one of our Certified Fraud Examiners. Danielle, welcome back to The Playbook.

Danielle: Good to see you again, Jen.

Jen: So as a CFE I know you work with attorneys on the fraud investigations. Now, attorneys have attorney/client privilege; does that extend to your work with their clients?

Danielle: In certain circumstances it can. CPAs traditionally – as rank in file CPAs – we have confidentiality with our clients, which means I can’t go blabbing your business out and about anywhere I want to. But I can be compelled to testify with a judge-signed court order.

In short, we’ll keep this simple. The difference is… privilege is a higher level. Attorney/client privilege that’s not an Attorney CPA client privilege, but there are certain circumstances where that attorney/client privilege can pass down to the CPA if the attorney manages the engagement correctly and puts proper procedures in place.

And what the benefit of that really is is if you’re doing a corporate investigation and you don’t necessarily know what you don’t know yet, and you have potential brand risk on the line, a lot of times you’ll want those investigations under privilege until you determine what to do or what is the result of those investigations. So many times we’ll be asked to work under privilege running through the attorney. Clients can wave the privilege if they want to; we’ve had ones where entities want to self-report a particular situation. Disclosing to the auditor actually does create disclosure to the third-party, which then can create privilege problems.

And so, working with the attorney to make sure we understand what is the scope, how the privilege is working. There’s also some tax controversy if you have some tax concerns; it’s called “Kovel,” where the privilege does move down as well. It’s a best practice to try to put the engagements in the type of engagement that they should be in for protecting the client. This is really a client protection matter, because you want to trust your CPA and be able to actually disclose information to your CPA that they can help you with.

Jen: Speak freely, give you all the information you need to help them out.

Danielle: Exactly. And I once had a client ask me, when this was just a regular confidentiality matter, they said, “Well, does that mean you’re going to sing like a canary?” And I go, “Well, that means I’m going to have to tell the truth if I’m asked the truth.” We can’t claim the 5th amendment, because it’s not self-incrimination, so making sure you bring in the attorney to manage that is really important.

Jen: Perfect, sounds good. We’ll get you back to talk some more fraud – interesting stuff always. For more about this topic, visit PKFTexas.com. This has been another Thought Leader production brought to you by PKF Texas The Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Tune in next week for another chapter.

We are excited to share two of PKF Texas’ Directors have been recognized within the Houston community and the accounting profession.

Chief Culture Officer and Audit Director, Sonia Freeman, CPA, was named as one of the Houston Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business.” She will be honored with the award on October 18, 2018 at the Hilton Americas-Houston, followed by a special edition of the HBJ weekly edition on October 19.

In addition, Entrepreneurial Advisory Services (EAS) Director, Danielle Supkis Cheek, CPA, CFE, CVA, was recognized by CPA Practice Advisor, as well as Accounting Today. CPA Practice Advisor named Supkis Cheek as a “40 Under 40” honoree, and Accounting Today named her as a “Top 100 People: Ones to Watch,” which landed her a featured spot at the top of the website’s home page.

As Sonia and Danielle continue to see success in their careers, they’re paving a prosperous career path for fellow team members at PKF Texas.