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. Hollywood Accounting: Another good reason to read (and audit) your contracts. — 3 comments
  4. Michael Vick and the Duration of Reputational Damage — 3 comments
  5. “Too Big to Audit” is no defense — 3 comments

Author's posts

Embezzlement at the House of Twain

Longtime employees are often loyal individuals who enjoy their job.  However, this broad generalization may cause employers to elevate the level of trust put in such employees and fail to protect themselves from someone who knows the business so well that they know just how to exploit it. Regardless of the relationship you think you have …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/08/embezzlement-at-the-house-of-twain/

Statistical Skills Rewarded in Massachusetts Lottery

Massachusetts has taken steps to close a loophole in one of its lottery games called “Cash WinFall”, which had been successfully exploited by a few statistically savvy individuals and groups. The lottery game was first launched in 2004, with the odds of picking all six numbers reported as over 1 in 9 million. However, the rules …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/08/statistical-skills-rewarded-in-massachusetts-lottery/

Who owns the Hulk? The legal battle continues…

The heirs of Jack Kirby, creator/co-creator of the Hulk and many other iconic comic book characters who permeate the movie business such as Iron Man, Spider Man, the Avengers, the X-Men and Thor, have been battling Marvel over the basis for Marvel’s copyright to these characters. The main dispute is as to whether the creation …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/07/who-owns-the-hulk-the-legal-battle-continues/

Americans missed out on $67 billion vacation in 2010

America is well known for providing its workers with less vacation time than other industrialized nations. According to a 2009 study by Mercer, more than two dozen industrialized nations require employers to offer at least four weeks of paid vacation to workers. Approximately a quarter of working Americans receive no paid time off. Despite frequent …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2011/07/americans-missed-out-on-67-billion-vacation-in-2010/

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