Tracy Coenen may not know where the bodies are buried, but she knows how to follow the numbers. When it comes to forensic accounting, she wrote the book on the subject. In fact, she wrote four: Expert Fraud Investigation: A Step-by-Step Guide, Essentials of Corporate Fraud, The CPA’s Handbook of Fraud and Commercial Crime Prevention, and Lifestyle Analysis in Divorce Cases: Investigating Spending and Finding Hidden Income and Assets.
A CPA who’s also certified in financial forensics and a fraud examiner, Tracy Coenen clearly knows her business: catching bad guys. She has investigated hundreds of frauds, from embezzlement and financial statement fraud to investment fraud and insurance fraud. She has served as an expert witness in cases involving damage calculations, commercial contract disputes, shareholders’ disputes and criminal defense. She even blogs about money scams professionally.
“I love putting together the pieces of a puzzle to figure out how a fraud was carried out,” Tracy says. “Seeing nuances and relationships others might not see is critical.”
To her investigative intuition, Tracy also adds business smarts. She is in the tenth year of running her own successful forensic accounting practice, Sequence Inc. “Business has been amazing,” she says. Even with the suffering economy, “I have been swamped with projects.”
Tracy serendipitously stumbled upon her successful career at Marquette. “I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a forensic accountant,” she says. “But as a sophomore in the criminology and law studies program, I took a course called financial crime investigation and realized I’d found my true love.”