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If 50 People Say a Foolish Thing, ???

The¬†FT of Oct. 9, 2015 by Brooke Masters¬†provided an especially helpful set of fact patterns that tend to support the usefulness of the disciplines of fraud examination and financial forensics (FEFF) in attempts to ‘set the record straight,’ ‘influence public opinion,’ ‘rewrite history,’ etc. The crucible is the courtroom or other venue characterized by the potential application of cross-examination. Ordinary, apparent statements of fact (e.g., profitability was $X) may get shredded into incredible statements of biased opinion. The methodology of FEFF is that which the attorney uses to slice and dice arguments, including PR, propaganda, and BS.

The FEFF profession is positioned to prove the facts on the foundation of evidence, if allowed by client, budget, schedule, and other exogenous factors that may and do get in the way (an inquiry for another day). It negotiates through the morass of primary sources to discover, for example, where estimates and assumptions are skewed toward generating an acceptable, desired range of operating performance. FEFF is essential in this data-dominated society. The behavior of numbers may be less dependent on knowing how to calculate than knowing what was omitted / processed in a corrupted way. Inputs are often gamed; ‘black boxes’ make shadows over processing integrity. As I say too often – it’s pretty easy to say you run a four-minute mile but a lot harder to do it (without working the timekeeper!)

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