*****Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation for Non-Experts, Second Edition. By Howard Silverstone and Michael Sheetz; published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc., www.wiley.com (Web); 304 pages; $50.
No company can thrive without trusted employees, but some die because they trusted employees too much, allowing them to use their positions for illicit gain. The lesson: Trust but verify via accounting controls. Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation for Non-Experts offers an effective primer on how financial fraud occurs, demonstrating the critical need for accounting controls. More important, the book lays out the fundamentals of forensic accounting and the fraud investigation process.
The book is an easy read, organized into two sections. Part 1 provides an overview of forensic accounting, illustrating the prevalence of accounting fraud across sectors, and in companies of all sizes. The authors offer real-world examples of trusted employees who betrayed that trust. In many cases, their employers never recovered from the fraud these bad actors perpetrated. This section may leave the reader suspicious of everyone in his or her company’s accounting department, which might not be a bad thing, at least initially.
Part 2 constitutes the bulk of the book, which details how to investigate accounting improprieties. All of the required steps are detailed, from the investigative process and interviewing of witnesses to documentation, analysis tools, and more.
Whether you are a senior executive, a middle manager, an investigator, or a small business owner, Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation for Non-Experts provides what you need to know to ensure that your organization is not brought to its knees by a criminal in the accounting department.
Reviewer: Ben Rothke, CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), is a senior security consultant with BT INS.