She was inspired by Encyclopedia Brown and once aspired to become a prison warden, now Tracy Coenen is a revered fraud investigator and forensic accountant. Attorneys go beyond certifications when picking an investigator; Tracy proves why so many choose her.
Looking for a forensic accountant & fraud investigator to work with your law firm? Here's what you need to know:
- The 3 areas of fraud and Lifestyle Analysis (02:06)
- Being the investigator for both sides of a divorce (08:38)
- Picking the best forensic account or fraud investigator for your case (13:23)
- Fraud and the consistent mistakes business owners make (16:55)
Detective. Fraud Investigator. Forensic Accountant.
No matter the title, "Investigative Intuition" is key.
“In many divorces, there's a lot of suspicion and a lot of negative feelings. In order to effectively use one expert, there has to be a trust level there. There has to be trust that that expert isn't in cahoots with one side…. That's sometimes a hard place to get to.”
“The numbers do sort of speak to me…something I call investigative intuition…. I can go through statements and pick out certain transactions and go back to the client and say, ‘These transactions I'd like you to look at and can you tell me anything you might know about them?’....I can't tell you how many times a client comes back comes back and says, I didn't know about those transactions, but there's a couple here that are really stinky.”
“People are as dumb about the money as they've always been…. All the electronic banking has made it in some ways a little bit easier to steal, because a few clicks of a button and you could transfer money out of the company's bank account to you personally. The thing is: there's going to be more documentation of that than there ever was before, if someone takes the time to dig in.”
“Segregation of duties is literally just taking the money handling process and dividing it up between multiple people so that they are sort of naturally double checking each other. ‘Well, how can I possibly do it in my small company?’ Very simply: have the bank statement sent to your home, Mr. Owner… and you should let your employees know, very subtly, that you're opening and looking at it. Because it's a great deterrent.”
TRACY COENEN, SEQUENCE INC. FORENSIC ACCOUNTING
Tracy Coenen, CPA, CFF of Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting has spent more than 20 years investigating fraud. Her educational background includes an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Law Studies and a Master of Business Administration, both from Marquette University. Tracy is a Certified Public Accountant and holds the designations Certified in Financial Forensics and Master Analyst in Financial Forensics.
She has personally completed more than 400 forensic accounting engagements in a wide variety of industries, including cases of embezzlement, financial statement fraud, investment fraud, divorce, and insurance fraud. Tracy has also been named an expert witness in numerous cases involving damage calculations, commercial contract disputes, shareholder disputes and criminal defense, and has testified more than 75 times.
Sequence Inc.: www.sequenceinc.com
KEEP READING ABOUT FRAUD INVESTIGATION, FORENSIC ACCOUNTING & MORE!
- "Investigating Cases With Large Volumes Of Financial Data" Tracy Coenen, Fraud Files (February 12, 2021)
- “Lifestyle Analysis in Divorce Cases: Investigating Spending and Finding Hidden Income and Assets” Tracy Coenen, American Bar Association (November 7, 2015)
- “Expert Fraud Investigation: A Step-by-Step Guide” Tracy Coenen, Wiley (January 23, 2009)
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"The 1958 Lawyer and his 1938 Dollar" still defines the business of law...
It's time for a change.
If you’re a lawyer, you’re familiar with the ABA article “The 1958 Lawyer and his 1938 Dollar” which gives our podcast its title, and its inspiration. That article was the start of the billable hour for law firms...And the last major change to the business of law, 70+ years ago now. Well, it’s past time for another change.
This podcast is all about bucking the status quo of the business of law. Your hosts Ron Bockstahler and Kirsten Mayfield run Amata Law Office Suites, providing law firms an alternative to the traditional fixed-cost business model that places unwanted stress on attorneys to work long hours that often-times lead to burn out, broken relationships and in many cases substance abuse. Each week they’ll discuss alternatives to the 12 hours days, endless rotation of clerks and paralegals, and the expensive offices leased to impress clients who rarely show up in person anymore. They’ll interview successful lawyers who are doing law differently, and finding a work-life balance while still running a successful firm.
Do you want to find a better way to run your law firm? It’s time for the next big change in the business of law, and you’ll get it here on The 1958 Lawyer.