Renee Howdeshell

Renee Howdeshell is a founding member of Fulcrum Inquiry, an accounting, finance and economic consulting firm that performs damage analyses for commercial litigation, forensic accountings, royalty & distribution audits, financial investigations, and business valuations. Ms. Howdeshell holds a degree in Finance and Marketing from the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). She has testified as an expert witness in federal court, CA state court and arbitration regarding the results of her work. She can be reached at (213) 787-4112 and her resume is available at www.fulcrum.com.

Most commented posts

  1. The hardest-fought license terms may be the least likely to be in compliance. — 7 comments
  2. Embezzlement at the House of Twain — 4 comments
  3. Michael Vick and the Duration of Reputational Damage — 3 comments
  4. Statistical Skills Rewarded in Massachusetts Lottery — 3 comments
  5. “Too Big to Audit” is no defense — 3 comments

Author's posts

Google’s offer of the open-source Android system may result in a big payday for Microsoft.

The Android is an open-source operating system which Google offers for free.  This allows hardware makers a low cost base on which to build their user interface.   However, Microsoft contends that the Android infringes on its intellectual property patents.  So far, Microsoft has successfully convinced smartphone and tablet maker HTC to pay a $5 per …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/07/google%e2%80%99s-offer-of-the-open-source-android-system-may-result-in-a-big-payday-for-microsoft/

Ponzi Scheme at the local PTA

Another Ponzi scheme has been uncovered.  While the perpetrators are not exactly Bernie Madoff, they did manage to bilk over 40 “investors” out of approximately $4 million. As is common with Ponzi schemes, the victims were concentrated within a tight social network which offers the illusion of trust and the insinuation that the members are …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/07/ponzi-scheme-at-the-local-pta/

The hardest-fought license terms may be the least likely to be in compliance.

Licensors whose assets are in particularly high demand may be able to negotiate unusually favorable contract terms.  Hiring a skilled lawyer to negotiate the terms of your license agreement will help ensure you get the best deal possible.  But those efforts may be wasted if there is no one confirming that those terms are followed.  …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/04/the-hardest-fought-license-terms-may-be-the-least-likely-to-be-in-compliance/

Get the benefit of the government’s experience when selecting vendors.

There are many often repeated tales of the federal government being taken advantage of by vendors, such as the Department of Defense’s $640 toilet seat and the National Park Service’s $797,400 outhouse.  Therefore, it’s a pretty good bet that if a vendor you are considering is on the federal government’s vendor blacklist, they might deserve …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/04/get-the-benefit-of-the-government%e2%80%99s-experience-when-selecting-vendors/

Hollywood Accounting: Another good reason to read (and audit) your contracts.

Hollywood accounting (or Hollywood bookkeeping) is the term used to describe how studios report profits on movies and television series. It often carries a derogatory connotation because of various common practices which don’t follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or necessarily reflect market realities.  These contractually-based practices often serve to reduce revenues, inflate costs, and eliminate …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/03/hollywood-accounting-another-good-reason-to-read-and-audit-your-contracts/

The IRS may get over a billion dollar windfall because taxpayers failed to ask for it.

There is no time limit for the IRS to pursue a taxpayer for failing to file a prior year’s return when money is owed to the government. The same is not true from the taxpayer’s perspective. Time is ticking for those who failed to file a 2007 tax return upon which the government owes a …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/03/the-irs-may-get-over-a-billion-dollar-windfall-because-taxpayers-failed-to-ask-for-it/

“Too Big to Audit” is no defense

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) again reported that it cannot render an opinion on the 2010 consolidated financial statements of the federal government, because of widespread material internal control weakness, significant uncertainties, and other limitations.” This has occurred for years. Although each year the federal government states improvements are being made, the bottom line answer …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/03/%e2%80%9ctoo-big-to-audit%e2%80%9d-is-no-defense/

Whistleblower activity will fuel increased litigation in 2011.

Since the advent of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, public companies have been required to provide a means for employees to communicate inappropriate financial and accounting control activity to the Audit Committee in a confidential manner.  The Dodd-Frank Act expanded the use of whistleblower systems in an effort to avoid the SEC’s own whistleblower setup.  Whistleblower systems …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/03/whistleblower-activity-will-fuel-increased-litigation-in-2011/

Convergence of factors are making judgeships harder to come by

In today’s economy, many high profile and high paying jobs are facing a unpleasant outlook.  In many scenarios, this occurs because technological advances render the position obsolete or there is an opportunity to outsource the work to lower cost labor overseas.  These are the costs of progress and international trade.  However, there are also some …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/02/convergence-of-factors-are-making-judgeships-harder-to-come-by/

Michael Vick and the Duration of Reputational Damage

It wasn’t long ago that Michael Vick was the highest paid player in the NFL and was frequently tapped for high profile endorsement deals with companies such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Kraft and Hasbro.  But when news of his dog fighting activities surfaced, the endorsement deals came to a grinding halt.  A prison sentence and a bankruptcy …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/02/michael-vick-and-the-duration-of-reputational-damage/