Michael B. Lehner, CPA/ABV, CFE, ASA
732-412-3825
MLehner@zbtcpa.com
February 6, 2021
hidden assets income divorce cases Methods of detection

Uncovering hidden assets and income in divorce cases

In divorce cases, spouses may have an incentive to hide assets and income to minimize support payments or skew marital asset distributions. This article discusses some ways spouses may attempt to conceal their wealth and techniques financial experts use to uncover it.
February 1, 2021
collaborative divorce financial experts

Is collaborative divorce right for your client?

Since the concept of “collaborative divorce” was introduced in the 1990s, it’s been gaining momentum as a creative, cost-effective alternative to the traditionally adversarial divorce process. This article provides an overview of collaborative divorce, including how it works, advantages, potential pitfalls — and the role of the financial expert.
January 13, 2021
business valuation Achieving a fair settlement in divorce

Achieving a fair settlement in divorce

In divorce situations, an experienced financial expert can help ensure assets are fairly appraised and a split is equitable. This article discusses several ways experts can increase the odds of achieving a fair outcome when determining asset value, including improving information access to increase the scope of discovery, uncovering hidden assets, and clarifying tax and case law. The article stresses the importance of obtaining a business valuation from an experienced expert rather than depending on rules of thumb.
January 5, 2021

Know the differences between fair market value and fair value

The terms “fair value” and “fair market value” are sometimes used interchangeably. To a business valuation professional, however, they have very different meanings. This article explains the IRS definition of fair market value and how it’s used as a starting point for determining fair value in shareholder disputes and divorce cases. A sidebar shows how the meaning of fair value differs in a financial reporting context.
February 7, 2020
Searching for hidden assets and unreported income in divorce

Searching for hidden assets and unreported income in divorce

When high net worth individuals file for divorce, both sides have a financial incentive to hide assets owned by their spousal “partnership.” So, it’s important to inventory the marital estate as soon as possible. This article discusses some ways spouses may attempt to conceal their wealth and techniques that financial experts use to investigate.
November 4, 2019
Fight fraud with active detection methods

Fight fraud with active detection methods

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) recently released its Report to the Nations: 2018 Global Study on Occupational Fraud and Abuse. This article highlights key findings from this biennial report, including the importance of implementing active antifraud controls, rather than relying on passive methods of detection. A sidebar identifies six behavioral red flags of occupational fraud to watch out for.
October 22, 2019
levels of value in business valuation

What are the three levels of value in business valuation?

The level of value used in a business valuation may affect an expert’s analyses and techniques. This article explains how experts determine the appropriate level of value and why it’s critical to make this determination before work begins.
October 8, 2019
Business valuation experts “normalize” owners’ compensation adjust reasonable level.

Adjusting owners’ compensation in business valuation

Owners of privately held businesses may draw large salaries because of tax advantages or take little or no salary to enhance the company’s reported earnings. In these cases, the valuation expert needs to “normalize” owners’ compensation and adjust it to a reasonable level. This article identifies factors that valuators consider in determining reasonable owners’ compensation.
September 16, 2019
buy-sell agreement buy-sell agreement

Avoid costly disputes with a buy-sell agreement

A buy-sell agreement can help avoid disputes over ownership rights, control and the value of a company when an owner leaves the business. Whether the agreement is triggered voluntarily or involuntarily, owners need to protect their financial interests with an agreement that’s legally enforceable and comprehensive. This article points out that it’s important to define buyout terms, avoid ambiguous or outdated valuation formulas and specify the financial data to be used in a buy-sell agreement.
September 6, 2019
hidden assets fraud, divorce cases business valuation equitable distribution

Where’s the money? Ensuring fair outcomes in divorce cases

Allegations of hidden assets, or even fraud, can muddy the waters and heighten tension in divorce cases, making a fair resolution difficult. Especially when a private business interest is involved, valuation and forensic accounting expertise is key in helping spouses equitably divide their assets. This article discusses some strategies moneyed spouses sometimes use to attempt to hide business assets, delay revenue recognition or overstate expenses.