Posts Tagged ‘vls’

Reporting the Red Flags of Fraud

By Jason Thompson, CPA/ABV, ASA, CFE, CFF
Partner and Director of Valuation and Litigation Services

Occupational fraud continues to be an all-too-common threat across a wide spectrum of industries. Perpetrators range from entry-level employees to C-suite executives. Small businesses with under 100 employees are particularly vulnerable to fraud, experiencing a median loss of $200,000. This is one of the many insights presented in the 2018 Report to the Nations from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).

Among other things, this report identifies the employees and departments that pose the greatest threat to organizations when it comes to occupational fraud.

According to this study, fraud is most often committed by perpetrators who fall within the following demographics. Keep in mind that these demographics are not indicative of employees who will definitely commit occupational fraud; they are merely common demographics among occupational fraud perpetrators.

Gender — In the United States, men accounted for 58% of all occupational fraud cases. Even when taking authority level into consideration, men still tend to cause larger losses than women in managerial and owner/executive positions.

Age — According to the study, the largest median losses were caused by fraudsters aged 56 and older.

Education — Approximately 60% of perpetrators have a college degree or higher.

Position of perpetrator — Occupational fraud is committed most frequently by low-level personnel, but fraud committed by managers/executives results in much higher median losses.
o Employee — 44% of cases; median loss of $50,000
o Manager — 34% of cases; median loss of $150,000
o Owner/Executive — 19% of cases; median loss of $850,000
o Other — 3% of cases; median loss of $189,000

Perpetrator’s tenure with the business — Fraud losses significantly increase based on how long the fraudster worked for the company.
o Less than 1 year — 9% of cases; median loss of $40,000
o 1-5 years — 44% of cases; median loss of $100,000
o 6-10 years — 23% of cases; median loss of $173,000
o More than 10 years — 24% of cases; median loss of $241,000

Department within organization — Employees in the accounting department generated the highest number of occupational fraud cases, followed closely by operations and executive/upper management.

Prior criminal background or negative employment history — Most occupational fraudsters are first-time offenders. ACFE’s 2018 study found that only 4% of fraud perpetrators had previously been convicted of a fraud-related offense.

Fraud losses tend to be much lower in organizations with telephone hotlines or some other kind of anonymous reporting mechanism. Random audits and forensic data monitoring also rank among the most effective tools for detecting occupational fraud.

If you are concerned about occupational fraud in your organization, please call Jason Thompson at (317) 608-6693 or email

Valuation Analyst Credentials

Amber HooverBy Amber Hoover, CPA/ABV
Senior Analyst, Valuation and Litigation Services 

When you need a valuation of a business, the first step is also the most important: hiring an expert.

Using an in-house accountant or relying on the do-it-yourself method can often make an uncertain situation into an even worse one. It’s important to find someone who has experience and knowledge in valuation so you can arrive at a result that is not only fair, but legally justified.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. legal system both have guidelines for what constitutes a “qualified” valuation expert. These guidelines describe the experience, training and continuing education necessary to earn this designation.

There are a number of credentials available that denote valuation expertise, which have undergone some changes in recent years. These include:

Organization Certification Membership
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) Certified Public Accountants (CPA)s
American Society of Appraisers (ASA) Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA)

Accredited Member (AM)

CPAs and Non-CPAs
National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA)

Accredited in Business Appraisal Review (ABAR)

CPAs and Other Credential Holders
Institute of Business Appraisers (IBA) Certified Business Appraiser (CBA)

Master Certified Business Appraiser (MCBA)


*Credential holders must comply with the same recertification requirements as NACVA’s credential holders.

In 2008 the NACVA acquired the assets of the Institute of Business Appraisers, but that organization was subsequently dissolved. The CBA and MCBA credentials are no longer available to obtain, but current holders of these credentials must still comply with NACVA’s recertification requirements.

Valuation analysists who have been credentialed through these organizations have been through training that provides the knowledge and skills needed for valuing a business and the required standards to follow. Continuing education requirements allow members to keep current on trends and issues in the valuation world.

When you’re considering an engagement with a valuation analyst, don’t be afraid to inquire about their credentials and experience with various types of businesses. An analyst who has expertise in one particular type of valuation may not necessarily be the person best suited for your needs.

If you are unsure what type of valuation expertise you require, please call Amber Hoover at (317) 613-7844 or email

Treasury Pulling Back from Limiting Valuation Discounts

Jason ThompsonBy Jason Thompson, CPA/ABV, ASA, CFE, CFF
Partner, Director of Valuation and Litigation Services

Earlier this month the U.S. Treasury announced its plans to withdraw its newly proposed regulations under Section 2704 related to limiting valuation discounts. The move came after intense pushback from valuation experts, the estate planning community and family business owners.

The move is good news for owners of closely held businesses who plan to eventually pass the company on to the next generation.

Commenters on the proposed regulation claimed Section 2704 would have hurt family-owned and operated businesses by making it difficult and costly to transfer companies to the next generation. Critics also claimed the valuation requirements of the proposed regulations were unclear and could not be meaningfully applied.

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin made the announcement as part of the Trump administration’s ongoing effort to reduce the burden of tax regulations. Its comprehensive review has already identified over 200 regulations that Treasury believes should be repealed, which will begin in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to a statement from the Treasury.

“This is only the beginning of our efforts to reduce the burden of tax regulations,” Mnuchin said. “Our tax code has been broken for too long, and this retrospective review, along with our efforts on tax reform, will ensure that we have a tax system that fosters economic growth.”

If you have questions about transitioning your closely held business to the next generation, please contact Jason Thompson at (317) 608-6694 or email

Employee spotlight: Amber Hoover

Amber HooverAmber Hoover is another one of the firm’s “first day” employees, joining the company upon its founding in 2009. She graduated from Indiana University Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis, and soon found her calling in financial analysis and valuation. She is both a CPA and holder of an Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) certification.

Now a Senior Valuation Analyst in the Valuation and Litigation Services department, Amber performs many different varieties of valuations, focusing mostly on privately held businesses, and also specializes in fraud investigation, lost profit analysis, forensic accounting and economic damage analysis.

Amber has been married to Andy Hoover for six years, and they have an energetic 1-year-old boy, Miles, who will be joined by a baby sister in the very near future. Amber also volunteers with Food Rescue, a charitable group that distributes food to those in need, serving as their treasurer and member of the board of directors.

Where Is the Employment Market Headed?

Amber HooverBy Amber Hoover, CPA/ABV
Senior Analyst, Valuation and Litigation Services

Want to know where the employment market is heading? Know a new or upcoming college graduate and want to give them some useful career advice for now and down the road?

IBISWorld, a global business intelligence leader specializing in industry market research and procurement and purchasing research reports, has assembled a list of industries showing strong employment growth in 2017. And they also have put together a rundown of the top five distressed industries.

Below are the industries that IBIS has identified with the greatest capacity to hire the largest share of new college graduates:

Industry 2017 Employment Growth Rate 2017

Wage growth rate

College Majors 2017 average industry wage
Internet Publishing & Broadcasting 10.3% 10.9% Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Communications $82,069
Geophysical Services 7.7% 9.4% Geology, Environmental Engineering $58,569
Elderly & Disabled Services 7.3% 5.9% Nursing, Hospitality $19,338
Financial Planning & Advice 6.0% 6.9% Accounting, Financial Mathematics, Economics $82,180
Language Instruction 6.0% 6.7% Humanities, Communications, Education $18,804

IBISWorld has listed the following industries as distressed, measured by the quickest expected industry value added (IVA),which measures the industry’s contribution to the U.S. economy, curated using IBISWorld’s proprietary database, declines between 2012 and 2017.

DVD, Game and Video Rental

  • Projected annualized IVA decline: (15.8%)
  • Attributing factor: increase reliance on digital outlets such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and Comcast.

Gold & Silver Ore Mining

  • Projected annualized IVA decline: (16.5%)
  • Attributing factor: financial markets have rebounded over the past five years; therefore, investors have decreased their need to buy assets such as gold and silver.

Cotton Farming

  • Projected annualized IVA decline: (12.5%)
  • Attributing factors: unfavorable exchange rates and overseas competition.

Camera Stores

  • Projected annualized IVA decline: (7.9%)
  • Attributing factor: competition from online retailers, department stores and consumer electronic stores.

Database & Directory Publishing

  • Projected annualized IVA decline: (10%)
  • Attributing factor: competition from online search engines such as Google.

If you have any questions, please call Amber Hoover at (317) 613-7844 or email

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