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Deterring Fraud at Nonprofit Organizations Is Focus of New Team at Marks Paneth & Shron LLP

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Apr 3, 2013) - Fraud is on the upswing at nonprofit organizations -- a result of the protracted economic downturn that has put organizations and individuals under financial pressure. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners 2012 Report to the Nation, the median loss for fraudulent activity for nonprofits is $100,000 per occurrence.

As a result, nonprofit boards and managers are seeking out fraud detection services. But even more effective than detecting fraud is deterring it -- that is, preventing fraud from ever taking place. A new service offered by New York City-based accounting firm Marks Paneth & Shron LLP (MP&S) is designed to do exactly that -- prevent fraud by detecting the risk and closing off the opportunity before the actual fraud occurs.

The service brings together Certified Fraud Examiners and Certified Forensic Financial Analysts to conduct a fraud deterrence audit -- an in-depth review of internal controls and procedures designed to find weak spots and identify the "holes" that might allow fraud to occur. Then the team develops a fraud deterrence plan, recommending changes in controls and internal procedures in order to reduce the likelihood of fraud. The team also recommends ways to foster a more positive culture -- one where fraud is less likely.

"All organizations are at risk for fraud," says Michael L. McNee, CPA, partner in charge of the Nonprofit and Government Services Group. "In nonprofit organizations the risk is arguably greater because it involves not only the potential loss of financial assets, but also negative publicity, which could adversely impact contributions and grants."

The fraud deterrence team is a joint project that combines professionals and resources from the Nonprofit Group and the Litigation and Corporate Financial Advisory Services Group. It is one of several interdisciplinary teams that MP&S has assembled to meet client needs that require the insight and experience of multiple specialists.

"A fraud deterrence examination is like an annual physical for your organization," says Eric Kreuter, a forensic specialist and partner in the Litigation and Corporate Financial Advisory Services Group. "Each report is confidential and the recommendations are customized to the needs and budgets of each organization."

"Fraud does not occur randomly -- it occurs where conditions are right for it," Mr. McNee says. "The purpose of fraud deterrence is to discover those conditions and change them before the fraud can take root."

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Katarina Wenk-Bodenmiller of Sommerfield Communications at (212) 255-8386 or Katarina@sommerfield.com

About Marks Paneth & Shron LLP

Marks Paneth & Shron LLP is an accounting firm with over 500 people, of whom nearly 65 are partners and principals. The firm provides public and private businesses with a full range of auditing, accounting, tax, consulting, bankruptcy and restructuring services as well as litigation and corporate financial advisory services to domestic and international clients. The firm also specializes in providing tax advisory and consulting for high-net-worth individuals and their families, as well as a wide range of services for international, real estate, media, entertainment, nonprofit, professional and financial services, and energy clients. The firm has a strong track record supporting emerging growth companies, entrepreneurs, business owners and investors as they navigate the business life cycle.

The firm's subsidiary, Tailored Technologies, LLC, provides information technology consulting services. In addition, its membership in Morison International, a leading international association for independent business advisers, financial consulting and accounting firms, facilitates service delivery to clients throughout the United States and around the world. Marks Paneth & Shron LLP, whose origins date back to 1907, is the 32nd largest accounting firm in the nation and the 16th largest in the New York area. In addition, readers of the New York Law Journal rank MP&S as one of the area's top forensic accounting firms for the third year in a row.

Its headquarters are in Manhattan. Additional offices are in Westchester, Long Island and the Cayman Islands. For more information, please visit www.markspaneth.com.