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. Who owns the Hulk? The legal battle continues… — 3 comments
  4. Report Identifies Top Undergraduate Business Programs — 3 comments
  5. Statistical Skills Rewarded in Massachusetts Lottery — 3 comments

Author's posts

Expert Can Still Testify, Despite Opinions Being Thrown Out

A recent case illustrated how expert testimony may still be appropriate even when all of the expert’s actual opinions are deemed inadmissible.  In Ross v. Rothstein (March 12, 2015), the Court concluded that an expert’s testimony still offered information helpful to the Court with regard to underlying facts that supported his improper (legal) opinions.  The Court cited …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2015/06/expert-can-still-testify-despite-opinions-being-thrown-out/

Court Requires Expert Witness to Have a Body and a Brain

A recent case addressed the interesting question of whether a corporation could serve as an expert witness.  The matter involved a breach of fiduciary duty case coordinated with an appraisal proceeding, in re Dole Food Company (“Dole”).  The defendants designated Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated (“Stifel”), a corporation, to serve as their expert witness regarding …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2015/05/court-requires-expert-witness-to-have-a-body-and-a-brain/

GAO Tells SEC to Look in the Mirror Regarding Internal Control Failures

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”), a government watchdog group, recently reported the results of its 2014 audit of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) financial statements.  The findings included (i) troubling reports of internal control failures at the very agency tasked with policing the reporting activities of others and (ii) warnings of vulnerability to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2015/05/gao-tells-sec-to-look-in-the-mirror-regarding-internal-control-failures/

IRS Workers Found to Have Evaded Tax Payment

A recent report indicated that over a 10 year period approximately 1,600 Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) employees willfully evaded their tax obligations.  The wrongful activity included: failing to file timely claiming improper dependents claiming improper first-time homebuyer credits The law calls for the termination of such employees unless it is waived by the IRS commissioner. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2015/05/irs-workers-found-to-have-evade-tax-payment/

Compliance Officer Gets Whistleblower Award

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently announced an award of $1.4 – $1.6 million provided to a compliance officer of a large company. Neither the company’s nor the officer’s name was made public due to confidentiality laws, but the information was reported to having pertained to significant financial harm to the company and/or …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2015/05/compliance-officer-gets-whistleblower-award/

SEC Takes Action on Overly Restrictive Confidentiality Agreements Affecting Whistleblowers

A recent enforcement action by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is the first of its kind, concerning improperly restrictive language contained in a company’s confidentiality agreements that could potentially impede whistleblower rules and protections. The SEC charged KBR Inc. with violating Rule 21F-17 under the Dodd-Frank Act by requiring witnesses in internal investigations to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2015/04/sec-takes-action-on-overly-restrictive-confidentiality-agreements-affecting-whistleblowers/

New Revenue Recognition Rules Delayed

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) has announced a proposal to delay by one year the effective date of implementation of the new revenue recognition standard under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”), making the new date of change for public companies those reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017.  Private companies would have an additional …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2015/04/new-revenue-recognition-rules-delayed/

Fiduciaries Continue to Face 401(k) Conflict of Interest Allegations

A group of workers at Ameriprise Financial Inc. settled their federal lawsuit against the company regarding management of their 401(k) contributions that were invested in Ameriprise funds and generated millions in allegedly excessive fees for the company. The case was filed in 2011 by Roger Krueger and a group of Ameriprise plan participants.  The plaintiffs disputed …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2015/04/9358/

Bankruptcy Treatment of Education Debts is Clarified by the Ninth Circuit

A Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel has ruled that certain tuition related amounts are dischargeable in bankruptcy.  Generally, education related debts are not able to be discharged.  However, the Panel’s ruling did not apply this exception because the financial aid in question was a non-monetary tuition credit offered by a for-profit university. The Panel described the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2015/03/bankruptcy-treatment-of-education-debts-is-clarified-by-the-ninth-circuit/

GAO Reports Worsening Improper Payments

The Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) recently published a summary of the testimony of US Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro regarding government efficiency and effectiveness.  The GAO reports annually to Congress on federal programs, agencies, offices, and initiatives (both within departments and government-wide) that are fragmented, overlapping, or duplicative.  It also identifies opportunities for cost savings …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2015/03/gao-reports-worsening-improper-payments/