Sloane Striker is one of the renowned accountants and the founders of Tracker Firm of Investigators. The group’s main duties include analyzing, interpreting, summarizing and presenting financial matters to its clients. It performs all these by first investigating and analyzing financial data in the client’s company (Silverstone, Pedneault, Sheetz, and Rudewicz 6). For complex analysis and presentation, it employs computerized applications. It then communicates its findings to the client, who they can also assist in legal proceedings if he or she still needs the group’s intervention (Skalak, Golden, Clayton, and Pill 16).
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Sloane, having been in the group for more than 12 years, now is known by very many companies. Her expertise lies in the part of investigation, analysis, and provision of expert testimony on cases of fraud. She likes to work with one of her assistants, Nancy Bruno.
James Matt, CEO of James Farm Produce, knows well about Tracker Firm of Investigators. He realizes that one of his senior employees may be misappropriating the company’s funds. He seeks assistance of Tracker Firm. The firm picks one of its best investigators, Sloane, who is given the priority of picking another accountant in the firm to assist her in the investigations. Sloane has never disappointed the firm and so she gets many assignments. Tony Bond issues Sloane with the company’s financial statements for the last five months. Sloane and her partner, Nancy, discover fraud in the payment of employees.
List of Characters
Sloane Striker: Forensic and investigative accountant attached to Tracker Firm of Investigators
Nancy Bruno : Forensic and investigative accountant attached to Tracker Firm of Investigators. Sloane’s assistant
Peter Smith: Manager of Tracker Firm of Investigators
Mercy Bright: Secretary at Tracker Firm
James Matt: CEO and the founder of James Farm Company
Tony Bond: Finance Officer at James Farm Company
Mary Dave: Head of Production Department at James Farm Company
The story in this paper involves Sloane Striker, an expert in the field of forensic and investigative accounting, and James Farm Company, a medium size company that specializes in collecting, processing and distributing farm products such as milk. James Matt, the owner and the chief executive officer (CEO) of James Farm Company, feels that his finance officer, Tony Bond has been for the last five months, stealing from the company by adding several “ghost workers” in the payroll.
Tony has been directing all the money received from such fraud into his bank account. The profit margin of the company has reduced drastically whereas production cost has consistently increased in the five month period, the controversial period. To stay out of blame, Tony claims that the company has suddenly grown bigger but, the Production Department is still lagging to implement necessary measures.
Scene 1: Tracker Firm Offices (Manager’s Office)
[James pays a visit to the offices of Tracker Firm. He looks very worried. It is obvious that something is bothering him. It is rare to find a man with a big company such as his to wear such a look on his face, a look with mixed expressions. He is led by one of the Tracker’s secretaries to the office of the manager. He introduces his name as James Matt, the CEO of James Farm Company]
Mr. Peter Smith: Feel welcome Mr. James. How may we assist you?
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Mr. James: I have come to seek for assistance from your firm. I suspect that there are some elements of fund misappropriation in my company.
One of my senior employees must be stealing money from my company.
[Mr. James hands over a file with neatly arranged documents to the manager. The manager quickly peruses the documents and then closes the file. There is a moment of silence, the two men just looking at each other. The manager then presses a button situated just next to his seat. After a while, a smartly dressed lady, Ms Sloane, enters the room and takes a seat without necessarily waiting to be seated by the manager. The manager hands over the file to her]
Mr. Peter Smith: This is Mr. James Matt the CEO of James Farm Company. He is our client. He has a fraud case in his company and that is why he is here. The firm has chosen you to handle this case. It is not so complicated. You are allowed to pick any other investigator from the firm to assist you carry out the investigation.
Ms. Sloane: Thank you sir [looking in the direction of Peter Smith]. Mr. James may we go to my office?
[Mr. James nodes and stands up to follow Sloane]
Scene 2: Tracker Premises (Sloane’s Office)
[Ms. Sloane and Mr. James are seated at Sloan’s office facing each other and may be, wondering who should start the talk. Ms. Sloane having handled such cases for a long time now and probably knows well what time means in accounting, breaks the silence]
Ms. Sloane: May you please tell me briefly about the history of your company?
Mr. James: James Farm Company began as a family business five years ago. When I started the company, I was the one in charge of the management and employees’ welfare. At the start, I had 59 employees with most of them at the collection, and distribution sections. I almost ran the company single handedly and so there was no chance of fraud. Currently, the company has more than 200 employees, around 15 in management positions. I am the CEO.
[Ms. Sloane listens as she continues to look at the documents. She then picks the telephone on the table and makes a call. A well dressed lady comes in and takes a seat. Ms. Sloane introduces her to James as Ms Nancy Bruno, one of the best Tracker’s accountants]
Ms. Sloane: Nancy, we have a case of fraud at James’ company. Since, it is not a very big company, I bet we can investigate the case and reach the solution today. Here are the documents showing all the details we may require.
[Ms. Sloane fishes some documents from the file and gives them to her colleague, Nancy]
Ms. Nancy: I can see that these two documents contain two different balance sheets, one of which is well balanced while the other does not seem to balance off.
Ms. Sloane: I would like us to visit James Farm Company to investigate this matter properly. Since the case has to be investigated and the results submitted to Mr. James today, we need not to waste any time.
[Ms. Sloane stands up and walks towards the door. The other two follow the suit. They all walk toward the car park. Sloane and Nancy enter Sloane’s car while James goes to his]
Scene 3: James Farm Company (Office of Tony Bond)
Ms. Sloane: I hope you have welcomed us to your office
Mr. Bond: Definitely. Feel welcome and I am at your service
Ms. Sloane: My colleague and I are accountants from Tracker Firm. We are here to help the company with its financial matters. I hope you are at the best position of assisting us with the information we may need
[Mr. Bond looking very puzzled but apparently does not want to show it, begins to search for things, none in particular, from the drawers of his desk. He stops the search and with a faint smile on his face, decides to respond]
Mr. Bond: Of course, I definitely will. I will provide to you all the documents you feel are of importance as far as your investigation is concerned.
Ms. Sloane: May you give us the lists of the company’s employees for the last five months, accompanied by the payrolls of the same time. We also request that you instruct the officer in charge of hiring employees and supervision of production processes to bring for us his lists too.
[Mr. Bond removes two files from a drawer and hands them over to Sloane. After a short time, Ms Mary gets in and hands over a book to Mr. Bond who immediately gives it to Sloane]
Ms. Sloane: I request that you two leave us alone for a moment
[Mr. Bond and Ms. Mary obey and leave immediately. Sloane and Nancy begin a thorough inspection of the documents. They compare carefully the two lists of employees in the payroll. Mary’s list contains 201 names while Bond’s appears to contain more than 201 names even though the last name is numbered position 201. Sloane then decides to count the names one by one. She finds out that the names total to 219. Her colleague who has been concentrating on the column of account numbers discovers that some of the account numbers are similar. The two investigators find out that all the unnumbered names have the same account number. Each employee in James’s company is paid $100 a day which translates to $3000 every month. The two carry out a rough calculation and finds out that for the last five months, a total of $270,000 have been paid to the same account]
Ms. Sloane: It is a coincidence that the balance sheet showing the company’s transactions for the last five months has an imbalance of the same amount; therefore, let us end this job.
Scene 4: James Farm Company (Smith’s Office)
(Sloane and her colleague enter the manager’s office to deliver their findings. Sloane hands over two leaves of paper to Mr. Smith. The manager goes through the sheets after which a sudden look of happiness fills his face]
Mr. Smith: Good work accountants. Any recommendations
Ms. Sloane: From our findings it is clear that your finance officer had suddenly become mischievous. Fortunately, you discovered in time. I recommend that you create a post of financial auditor. The auditor will be responsible for counter checking the payroll before you authorize payment of employees. I further advice you to fire Mr.
Bond and hire a new finance officer. Mr. Bond can no longer be trusted.
Mr. Smith: What about prosecuting him?
Ms. Sloane: You are the only one who can decide on the matters of prosecution.
However, I will be available should you need me to be a witness in the court proceedings
Silverstone Howard, Stephen Pedneault, Michael Sheetz, and Frank Rudewicz. Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation for Non-experts. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Print.
Skalak Steven L, Thomas W. Golden, Mona M. Clayton, and Jessica S. Pill. A Guide to Forensic Accounting Investigation. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print.