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Forensic and Valuations

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November 15-21, 2020 is International Fraud Awareness Week

November 15 – 21, 2020 is International Fraud Awareness Week.  SobelCo is a supporting organization, so we are posting useful fraud-related information throughout the month of November!

Our colleague, Megan Kelly, wrote about the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ 2020 Report to the Nations, a global study on occupational fraud and abuse in a recent article. Megan shared important information about the types of occupational fraud, characteristics of perpetrators and victims, and methods of detection.

New Advisories on Ransomware Payments


Both the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) have issued recent advisories concerning ransomware payments.[1]

Be Cyber Smart - at Home, at School, on Mobile Devices


Every October for the past 17 years, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) have campaigned across the nation to provide cybersecurity resources to help all Americans be safe online.  This year their theme is “Do Your Part.  #BeCyberSmart.”

Are Intangible Assets Being Included in Your Property Tax Assessment

As the pandemic continues to cause havoc in everyone’s day to day life, financial survival is driving many decisions at all levels of society.  This is true with individuals as well as in government. As consumer spending remains much lower than usual, government tax collections are also much lower. Among the many different types of government funding, one is the collection of property taxes. Bear in mind that different taxing authorities include different categories of assets when applying their tax rates. This means that not all types of assets are subject to tax.

Cost Approach to Value Methodology in the Era of COVID-19

 Part 1 – Calculating an Accurate Replacement Cost New

This article is the first in a two-part series.  It discusses steps that can be taken to improve the accuracy of “Replacement Cost New” (RCN) calculations when using the cost approach to value. In the second part of this series, I will discuss depreciation of assets.

Key Concepts in an Economic Damage Calculation

During 25 years of performing valuation work, I have been asked numerous times to perform an economic damages calculation or provide a rebuttal report of economic damages.  If a person is performing an economic damages calculation, it is imperative that he or she be very familiar with several key concepts of economic damages, and the criteria that must be included and met in order for a claim of economic damages.  While financial and valuation experts are not lawyers, the calculation of economic damages is not just a mathematical exercise.  Addressing key concepts such as causation, foresee

Appraisers, Not Advocates

When appraising property (real estate, personal property) or the equity value of a business, there will likely be discussions, and possibly disagreements, on the concluded opinion of value. The client may hope for a low value if they are using the appraisal for a tax appeal or estate planning/administration, or they may want a high value if they are trying to borrow money or sell a property or business. Many clients believe when they have hired an appraiser, they have hired an advocate. This is incorrect.

COVID-19 and its Effects on Commercial Real Estate

By now we all know that COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.  It came to our attention in December 2019 when  clinicians in Wuhan, China notified public health authorities of a cluster of asymptomatic pneumonia cases, some with ties to a seafood market in the city.  Within weeks a novel coronavirus was identified and sequenced, with the sequence published online for use by other scientists and public health authorities globally.

Are Your Books and Records Adding Value to Your Business?

Books and records. Bookkeeping. Accounting. Tax returns and quarterly filings. Business owners typically view these as required administrative duties and consider it an expense. Have you ever thought about your accounting systems as more than an expense, and how it may benefit you, above and beyond reporting numbers and forms?  

Cost Segregation

According to the American Society of Cost Segregation Professionals, a cost segregation is "the process of identifying property components that are considered "personal property" or "land improvements" under the federal tax code."

What does this mean?   

Typically, commercial real estate can be depreciated over a 39-year life. However, the IRS allows certain items, considered to be personal property, to be depreciated over a shorter life – five, seven, or fifteen years – thereby accelerating the depreciation of those assets.