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Bennett is certified as forensic public accountant

By Staff | Jun 10, 2009

Phhilip C. Bennett

Philip C. Bennett, CPA,FCPA,CIPFA, of Fort Myers, has been certified as a forensic certified public accountant by the Forensic CPA Society, and has expanded his practice to include litigation support and investigation.

Bennett, who has been a Florida CPA since 1974, will utilize his accounting, auditing background, and investigative skills to determine what events took place in various financial settings, and then report those findings in the courtroom.

Forensic accountants typically are engaged to perform such services as transaction reconstruction and measurement, bankruptcy, matrimonial divorce, probate asset identification and valuation, and falsifications and manipulations of accounts or inventories. Only 12 percent of all occupational fraud is detected by external auditors.

A recent example of forensic accounting includes efforts to trace money at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, which stands accused of perpetrating the largest investment scandal in history.

“Forensic accountants are the CSI of accounting,” Bennett said. “Our job is to determine whether employee theft, securities fraud or insurance fraud have occurred. Investigation also may occur in civil matters. A forensic accountant may be hired to search for hidden assets in a divorce case, for example. If a dispute reaches the courtroom, the forensic accountant may testify as an expert witness.”

Bennett has been involved with governmental accounting, financial reporting and advisory services in Southwest Florida since 1971 and has served as an expert witness in many cases involving dual taxation issues and ad valorem taxation issues.