Other Financial Records
Alan R. Graham
Senior Investigative Auditor
U.S. Treasury Department
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
Accountant's/Bookkeeper's Records- Accountants/bookkeepers are
typically hired to maintain the company's books (journals and ledgers) and
to prepare financial statements that reflect its profitability, solvency,
and cash flow. Other records that may be found at the office of the accountant/bookkeepers
include contract files, correspondence files, corporate minutes, tax returns,
cancelled checks, bank statements, invoices, and other source documents.
The partnership agreement or corporate charter would identify the owners
of the business. Depreciation schedules list the company's fixed assets,
and can be compared to assets claimed on the proof of loss statement. Perpetual
inventory reports and reports of physical inventory counts can be used to
plot sales trends, and can also indicate problems with inventory, such as
obsolescence or overstocking. These types of records can generate many useful
leads when analyzed by a forensic accountant.
Suppliers of Goods & Services Records- Suppliers provide multiple
sources of financial information for the investigative team. The following
pertinent areas provide specific sources for further analysis.
Sales Invoice: A document that provides details as to the sales
transactions between the parties. The invoice will show the amount of the
sale, items sold, terms of sale, etc. These are excellent source documents
which provide the investigative teams with trend analysis.
Accounts Receivable: Details the supplier's financial records,
which indicates purchases made from each supplier. The supplier's accounts
receivable depicts specific sales, payment history, and outstanding balances.
Cash-on-delivery (C.O.D.) sales would not be shown in the accounts receivable
ledger but may indicate financial difficulties.
Forms of payment: depict the method of payments to suppliers
in the form of cash (possibly C.O.D.), check, certified check or credit
Correspondence File: contain letters, documents, TRW reports,
etc., between the parties. These files may provide documentation such as
placing a customer on C.O.D. basis.
reprinted by permission