Dolla Dolla Bill Y’all
Happy spring everyone!
I can’t believe it’s almost finals week!
Off to Hogwarts! (A tad older than the students though)
I have been very very busy this semester with taking way too many courses. So I apologize for being MIA on my blog posts.
For my one course, I got to spend my spring break in Europe! There is a course offered in the spring for MBA students called Doing Business in the EU which is taught by Dr. Coral Snodgrass.
This is an online course that involves discussion with classmates on the current European business events, as well as a term paper at the end of the course. For spring break, the class met and had seminar style learning in Paris, London, and Brussels! We toured London’s financial district and culturally historic sites, as well as met with a wide variety of companies in these lovely cities.
Lonodn’s Financial District
My favorite was when we went to Brussels for the day and had a tour of Vanparys chocolate factory in Brussels, while learning about how the evolving company is growing into global markets and the trade regulations they face. We also got to learn about the pharmaceutical industry at Sanofi S.A., the success of Euro Disney, multinational marketing with New Era’s London Office, as well as many other companies. In Paris, we partnered with a French graduate international business school to work on a simulation exercise of negotiating HR benefits between a hypothetical European company branch with a NY branch.
Selfie with the Eiffle Tower
Though, what really impacted me was learning more about the area of International Finance! We met with the VP of Societe Generale London, Yannick Lakoue-Derant. We also visited the European Union Committee of Regions in Brussels and did a simulation exercise of the Greece negotiations for financial funding with the ECB and Eurozone countries. Learning about international finance from banking and political standpoints really was of great interest to me.
As a result, my term paper is covering the forested EUR/USD currency exchange rates. It has been a crazy time for the Euro, as it hit parity with the USD right before we went to Europe. This was great for being a US citizen and traveling to Paris and Brussels where they use the Euro. My paper delves into the Quantitative Easing monetary policy that the European Central Bank has begun, the risks of the Greek economy, and how macroeconomic theories are interwoven with the financial modeling and forecasting of the currency exchange rates. This current event in the financial markets is important for the globally oriented manager. Especially if it is a Eurozone company profiting from exporting their goods and service to the United States! Hence, why international finance is so important in this day and age.
European Parliament in Brussels
All in all, this was an awesome class and totally worth the trip to Europe! The class counts as part of the International Business MBA concentration or if you are fulfilling the electives of your choice for a general MBA then this class counts as an elective. There was a bunch of One Year MBA students in the class as well! Or even as an MBA in Professional Accounting, the class counts toward the MBA elective. And some MS in Forensic Accounting students are able to take a few extra courses for their degree. This class could fit with potentially any of the offered business degrees, so you could totally fit in the class! I highly recommend this class and it is such a great learning experience!
All of the classmates off to Paris for the rest of the week on the Eurostar!
Je voudrais une croissant.
My time at Canisius so far has truly taught me all of the advantages of receiving a Jesuit education. The values are far reaching throughout the classes, including the Forensic Accounting classes. In other words, in class I am learning all the technical skills that a forensic accountant is required to know in addition to the idea that giving back to the community is important.
This experience is the result of a service learning component of one of the forensic accounting courses. Throughout the classes in the forensic accounting program students learn, amongst other things, “red-flags” to look for that may indicate a fraud has occurred. While these may not always lead to a fraud being discovered, it instills a questioning mindset that is essential for auditing. In addition to being able to recognize the risks, the classes teach the students how to correct these issues and mitigate the weaknesses.
The knowledge of how to identify and correct weaknesses in a business is where the service learning came into action. Working with the City of Buffalo, students were assigned to a number of not-for-profit organizations throughout the area with the task of assessing the accounting records. After visiting the organization, students applied the knowledge from the classroom and suggested possible improvements.
Overall, this experience was great! Not only was I able to apply what I had been learning in class but I was also able to give back to the community. This was another great opportunity that the forensic accounting program offered me to make connections in the Buffalo community.
For those who claim that accounting is a dry subject and that it cannot be exciting, I suggest taking one of the Forensic Accounting classes at Canisius. While our definition of “fun” may differ, I can confidently assure that these courses will exceed your expectations. The classes are designed to incorporate current topics of white-collar crime by tackling how an investigation takes place and the specific laws applying to the cases. What I have found is that the topics are fascinating and the professors incorporate exciting ways to teach.
One example involves a mock-case that was assigned through-out the semester. The assignment was to conduct an investigation on a fictitious company and see if a fraud was occurring at the company. The process of gathering evidence and discovering the crime was a fun process! The case provided a first-hand example of what a fraud investigation truly entails. As the cases were coming to a close and the suspects were narrowed down, the professor added an extra element that transitioned the projects from good to great. In class at the time we were learning about different interviewing strategies. These strategies included certain mannerisms to look for as it may indicate a person avoiding the truth (something applicable to both investigating and the poker table!) Getting back to the project, once the suspects were identified, alumni who were familiar with the case came into class and acted as one of the suspects. The next step was to interview the suspects and try to get a confession. While this was a fun exercise, it cemented the different techniques used for interviewing.
Again, our definition of “fun” may differ but the classes in the Forensic Accounting program are not your typical classes. Each class has presented an interactive way of learning about an extremely interesting topic. Currently, I am roughly half way through the Forensic Accounting program and I am excited to see what the second half has in store for me! Be sure to check back for more!
You know the feeling!
10 Great Accounting Jokes
(Because stressful times of studying call for funny accounting jokes)
1. Why did the accountant cross the road?
–Because she looked in the files and did what they did last year.
2. An accountant is having a hard time sleeping and goes to see his doctor. “Doctor, I just can’t get to sleep at night,” he says. “Have you tried counting sheep?” inquires the doctor. “That’s the problem! I make a mistake and then spend three hours trying to find it.”
3. What do accountants suffer from that ordinary people don’t?
4. An accountant is reading nursery rhymes to her young child. When she is finished, she answers her son’s question: “No, son. When Little Bo Peep lost her sheep that wouldn’t be tax deductible “
5. What do you call a trial balance that doesn’t balance?
– A late night.
Ben Wyatt…again HaHa!!
6. Why are accountants always so calm, composed, and methodical?
– They have strong internal controls.
7. A young accountant spends a week at his new office with the retiring accountant he is replacing. Each morning, as the more experienced accountant begins the day, he opens his desk drawer, takes out a worn envelope, removes a yellowing sheet of paper, reads it, nods his head, looks around the room with renewed vigor, returns the envelope to the drawer, and then begins his day’s work. After he retires, the new accountant can hardly wait to read for himself the message contained in the envelope. Surely, he thinks to himself, it must contain the great secret to his mentor’s success, a wondrous treasure of inspiration and motivation. His fingers tremble anxiously as he removes the mysterious envelope from the drawer and reads the following message: “Debits in the column toward the file cabinet. Credits in the column toward the window.”
8. Four Laws of Accounting:
1. Trial balances don’t.
2. Bank reconciliations never do.
3. Working capital does not.
4. Return on investments never will.
9. How do you drive an accountant completely insane?
-Tie him to a chair, stand in front of him and fold a road map the wrong way.
10. Why do accountants make great lovers?
-They’re great with figures.
If you’re looking for more funny accounting jokes, check out where I found these at Business Insider or Crush the CPA!
Even breaking out a bad Chem joke! Woah!!!
PS: Here’s a funny, non-accounting video of Andy Dwyer Vs. The Dinosaurs: Jurassic Parks and Rec
The Forensic Accounting program has been living up to its reputation to say the least. While the semester has been passing by extremely quickly, it is fascinating what we have done. Whether its learning how to handle an investigation or hearing from an individual who had first-hand experiences with uncovering one of the largest frauds in recent history it has been great!
First off, let me describe the scene. The students walk into class and see about ten IRS Criminal Investigators standing in the front of the room. Mind you that we knew they were going to be there before hand so it was not a complete shock. The IRS agents then walked us through a mock-investigation of someone committing a tax fraud. This investigation started with the students questioning an informant, requesting information such as bank records and tax returns, and even digging through actual trash to find papers thrown away by the suspect that could be used as evidence! With much help from the Agents, we were able to gather evidence on the suspect that could be used in court. Also, after the investigation was over, the Agents stayed with us and answered any questions we had regarding IRS Criminal Investigation. The questions spanned from dealing with the investigation to what a career with the IRS is like.
Walking into a room full of federal agents hasn’t been the only exciting part of the Forensic Accounting program. In one of our classes we listened to an individual who had first-hand experiences with uncovering the Adelphia fraud. Specifically the individual was hired by and worked directly for Tim Rigas who was the CFO of Adelphia Communications Corporation. The speaker talked of how he was hired about six months prior to the fraud being discovered and then how he spent years working with auditors and investigators in discovering exactly what his former bosses were doing with investors’ funds. The speaker stressed the importance of ethics in the accounting profession and supporting work with proper accounting standards. Such practices helped to keep the speaker out of trouble as he was following proper laws and regulations. Hearing form someone who had such great experience was an eye-opening experience. The moral of the story was always support your work and be sure to document something if it seems incorrect. Both of which helped to keep the speaker out of prison. In other words, the investigators were able to see that he was following the rules and was not participating in the fraud because of his supporting work.
The past two weeks in the Forensic Accounting program have been packed to say the least! The lessons and experiences the students have had are unique to the program and teach great lessons. I am excited to see what is up next!
My name is Jon Corona and I am currently a student in the Forensic Accounting program here at Canisius College. To avoid repeating information, I will refrain from writing an “about me” section in this post. Although for those readers who are itching to know more about the author, be sure to check out the about the author section!
This is my first semester as Forensic Accounting student as well as my first semester as being a blogger (so please bear with me!). This blog will be about my experiences throughout the year as a student in the program and I hope that those who read the posts will learn all that this unique and exciting program has to offer.
To get things started, I figure it is fitting to describe how I got started in the program. The past four years I have spent here at Canisius as an undergraduate student at Canisius in the Accounting program seeking to fulfill the requirements for the CPA exam and find a career in public accounting. Canisius’ great success with the CPA exam was one of the reasons that I choose the school. In fact, last year (2013) graduates taking the exam ranked first in New York State in pass rates!
Learning how to Discover Frauds
What originally grabbed my attention in accounting is the idea of preventing and detecting white-collar crimes. Fortunately, what I learn in my forensic accounting program is exactly that; the knowledge needed to combat such crimes. Not only am I learning this specific and in demand skill set, I am also fulfilling CPA exam requirements. Specifically, the CPA exam has an educational requirement which includes at least 150 credit hours of classes, among other requirements. As a result, many students looking to eventually earn their CPA license will be enrolled in a five year program at their respective school. In other words, the classes I am taking as part of the Forensic program are giving me a unique skill set while allowing me to fulfill my educational requirement. Talk about a “win – win” situation!
Looking forward, my future posts will focus on the many highlights of the program as I attempt to summarize all of the great experiences of a student in Canisius’ Forensic Accounting program. Feel free to ask any questions you may have!
Stay tuned and thanks for reading!