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Sponsor Spotlight:Berkowitz Pollack Brant

We love our sponsors! Meet Berkowitz Pollack Brant, a Sapphire Sponsor.

1) What services does your firm provide?
We are a full-service accounting and advisory services firm with a seasoned team of forensic accountants, certified fraud examiners, certified valuation specialists and other professionals who work with clients and legal counsel on a broad range of matters, including bankruptcies and reorganization; business disputes, valuations and insurance claims; computer forensics; and family law. Our professionals have authored legal training materials and provided expert testimony and economic damages analysis in several high-profile cases in Florida and nationwide.
2) What is your name?
Richard Fechter

3) What is your position/role in the firm?
Associate Director of Forensic Advisory Services

4) What do you see as the greatest economic challenge in your industry right now?
With the increasing reliance on artificial intelligence (AI), forensic accountants will need to expand their investigative skills, apply them to data generated from this evolving technology, and play a more consultative role in many of their engagements. This rapid pace of technological innovation will also require accounting firms to invest more in the people who understand these innovations and can help clients leverage improved features and efficiencies to their advantage.

5) What are the top 3 things that you would want the BLS membership to know about working with your firm?
• We have the credentials, experience and skill set of a national firm with the responsiveness and cost structure of a regional consultancy.
• We work on matters that range from small, commercial litigations to complex $1 billion Ponzi schemes, bridging the gap between the evidence identified in a forensic financial investigation and the legal theories attorneys are pursuing.
• Our accounting firm’s affiliations give us a global reach and the ability to leverage firm members’ expertise to meet our clients’ unique needs, including domestic and international tax planning and financial investigations, audit services, estate planning, business consulting, and tax controversy resolution.
6) Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Our team of forensic specialists includes certified public accountants (CPAs), certified anti-money laundering specialists (CAMS), certified fraud examiners (CFEs), Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors (CIRAs), certified valuation analysts (CVAs) and former lawyers like myself.

Fun Facts About You:
1) What led you to become a forensic accountant?
During my final year as an assistant attorney general for the state of Florida in the mid-1990s, I worked on many of the preliminary evidentiary and forfeiture hearings concerning the search and seizure of “go-fast” boats that criminals were using to transport illegal narcotics. Not only did I learn a great deal about money laundering and forfeiture, but I was also intrigued by the various compliance / innocent owner defenses being argued at the time. As a forensic accountant, I can combine my legal and investigative skills with a passion for accounting.

2) What forensic accounting advice would you give to attorneys?
If you begin work on a case that you think might have complex financial issues or that involves the calculation of economic damages, retain a financial expert as early as possible. We can help to identify documents and information to include in your requests for production and formulate your prosecution or defense strategies depending on the initial findings of the documents reviewed. Moreover, qualified forensic accountants can help identify the strengths or weaknesses in your case early on before litigation expenses get too high.

3) This or that: Swimming or Skiing?
Water Skiing 😊

4) What is your favorite football team?
Miami Dolphins

5) What is your favorite Marvel character?
Spiderman. He’s actually my son’s favorite, which makes him mine too.

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