Forensic and Investigative Accounting: The Calvin’s Case

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As much as Calvin could have wanted to venture into the litigation business to supplement his CPA business revenue, the engagement needed extensive investigation and viability assessment. His whim actions complicated his work and plunged him into many problems, including incurring of hefty losses. The whole engagement was unwarranted, and it could have been better if he concentrated with what he knows well. If he felt it was a must he ventures into other fields, relying on friends’ information was foolhardy. His acts were unprofessional and unimaginable. Litigation is a sensitive profession that requires high degree of proficiency and experience. In addition, it requires high level of communication skills and public relations. Calvin did not possess all these credentials (Crumbley, Heitger, & Smith, 2009). The following list points out some of the mistakes that Calvin could have committed.

  1. The fact that neither Calvin nor his staff had any experience in litigation business meant that the engagement was not well thought out. Calvin, therefore, made a mistake for venturing into this kind of business without first acquiring essential experience and resources.
  2. Calvin did not know how to prepare a report, and did not even know that such a report was a requirement. He ought to have gathered more information before accepting the engagement.
  3. Calvin did not have information on the fees that was changed at market rate, and hence ended up quoting a strange figure, that seemed to be an undervalue.
  4. The fact that Calvin does not usually undertake litigation support or business appraisal services means that he was not qualified for such services, hence, it was a mistakes to have accepted the engagement in the first place.
  5. Although he was made to understand that litigation support or business appraisal services is a good opportunity that could supplement the income from his CPA firm, it was a rush for Calvin to have engaged in it without undertaking proper investigations to assess the viability of venturing into that line of business. He could have at the same time estimated the impact on his regular business and provided remedy to that accordingly.
  6. When an attorney asked Calvin about his education, experience, and current practice in relation to litigation practice, he must have done a mistake for alleging that he was qualified to undertake the practice, because he could not have evidence to support his assertion.
  7. Regarding his experience in economic analysis, Calvin relied on a small stint he experienced when his client was being divorced. This was an underestimation of what economic analysis involved, and hence he did a mistake to have thought that it could have assisted him in this engagement. He ought to have sought more information regarding the requirements of such an engagement and assessed his capability before accepting it.
  8. Calvin did a big mistake where he signed an engagement letter and returned it to Esquire without careful review. That is the reason why he missed important details on it, and ended up having trouble. Thereafter, it emerged that he could not get paid because the terms of the engagement stated that payment could only be made after the case succeeded. If he was more careful, he could have at least negotiated for a retainer.
  9. Information about the employers cost of medical and insurance cost was not available. Calvin carelessly used an estimate instead of investigating to get some accurate figures. Furthermore, he failed to carry out sufficient investigations so he could get facts from the plaintiff.
  10. Consulting friends for critical information, like the duration one takes before getting a job similar to that of Ms. Broke’s was again another mistake, because he was not sure about his friend’s ability to give accurate information. If he was careful, he could have gathered first hand information from Mr Broke. This could as well have helped him to prepare a legitimate and accurate expert’s report.
  11. Calvin did a mistake once more for promising an expert report on time, yet he knew that he was not in a position to produce it. Furthermore, he ought to have planned his work well to avoid a crash of duties.
  12. Calvin’s act of not reviewing reports is another mistake. He could correct obvious errors if he did so.
  13. In the first place, Calvin seems to be too much occupied with his accounting practice, and venturing in to litigation business could only serve to disrupt his tight schedule. Perhaps, he could have hired enough staff to handle extra duties, or rather undertake a contingency plan to avoid this kind of confusion.
  14. Writing inaccurate C.V. only served to complicate his case because he did not have supportive evidence for the experience he claimed he had.

Most of the mistakes that were committed by Calvin amount to sheer negligence, and lack of professionalism. It is evident that no person can succeed in litigation services without the necessary proficiency and experience. Therefore, it could have been advisable if Calvin focused in his CPA, business and consolidate a good niche in it.


Crumbley, D., Heitger, L., & Smith, G. (2009). Forensic and Investigative Accounting (5th ed.). Chicago: CCH.

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