Companies Caught in Hurricane Katrina At-Risk for Financial Statement Fraud

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Forensic accountant offers guidance for auditors, CFOs, and investors evaluating the financial statements of companies in the path of Hurricane Katrina.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, law enforcement has focused on insurance fraud and charitable fund fraud. However, improper financial reporting by victim companies has been overlooked. Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE of Sequence Inc. is warning CFOs and auditors of the financial statement fraud risks surrounding companies in the path of Hurricane Katrina.

The motivation is in place for the manipulation of financial statements as companies close out their year-end books. Companies have lost sales, assets, and customers because of Hurricane Katrina, but the greater risk they face is the wrath of investors and lenders if positive financial statements are not released.

Coenen identified the financial statement areas at greatest risk of intentional misstatement, and offers tips for auditors to help detect such schemes. CFOs, investment analysts, and investors want to become familiar with the vulnerable areas of financial statements as well.

With hundreds of corporate fraud investigations under her belt, Coenen is intimately familiar with the methods utilized by financial executives to enhance their financial statements. “While we all wish to be sensitive to the devastation experienced by companies in the path of Hurricane Katrina, auditors cannot let their sympathy supersede an appropriate level of skepticism when evaluating financial statements,” says Coenen.

In the current issue of Fraud Magazine, Coenen discusses her concerns about financial statement fraud related to the hurricane, and provides guidance to financial professionals who may be evaluating balance sheets and income statements. The article can be found at

About Sequence Inc:

Sequence Inc. is a forensic accounting firm with offices in Chicago and Milwaukee. The company works with both private and public companies to evaluate and examine financial data related to fraud and litigation matters.


Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE

Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting



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Tracy Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE
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