Audit & Consulting


By on Sep 16, 2014 in Auspicium, NACA |

Fraud in Capital Projects and the Construction Process Tishman, Bovis Lend Lease, and Structure Tone are companies known around the world for their quality craftsmanship and superior quality of work, but now they are becoming known for other qualities they hope will be forgotten. In many construction projects, whether residential or commercial, there is money doled out to a contractor that is not earned. But over the past few years, we in the industry are seeing construction fraud schemes hit the headlines more and more. Take the following examples: City’s Construction Giants Face Criminal Probe for Billing Fraud – July 30, 2012 – WNYC News Contractor Agrees to Pay $19.6 Million in Fraud Case – March 31, 2011 – The New York Times Building Firm Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Its Customers– April 30, 2014 – The New York Times The benefit, if there can be a benefit from fraud, is that organizations and owners are using this as an opportunity to look for fraud, find errors and more tightly control their projects. It is no longer an environment of, “Yes, I know it is happening but what choice do I have?” It is an environment of, “Yes, I know it is happening, now what can I do to stop it or to minimize my losses?” Some of the top areas for fraud in construction projects are duplicate payments, violations of conflict of interests, padded billing, fictitious vendors and payroll fraud in the form of ghost employees. Statistics on fraud versus error might be skewed, as owners are more interested in recovering money rather than pursuing prosecution. With that said, construction fraud and procurement fraud are still high ranking in the ACFE Report to the Nations. I, for one, have taken a stance to educate and train organizations about how to audit capital and construction projects, what to look for to identify a project as a problem, and the next steps to take when recoveries do not go their way. I have seen organizations take a more proactive stance in project involvement, and I have seen auditors, construction auditors or operational auditors take more of a position to question why things happen rather than just blindly accept what is said. With these steps forward, I am...

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By on Sep 23, 2013 in NACA |

Upcoming Construction Audit and Transition Management Training Coming to the West Coast Auditing construction projects can be a drain on resources or may be beyond the expertise of your staff. Auspicium can change all that on November 14 and 15th at the Union Square Hilton in San Francisco, CA. In my 23 years in auditing, I’ve never worked with anyone who is so knowledgeable, but so incredibly fun at the same time. Denise is flexible, easy to work with, and she has the utmost level of integrity. I would strongly recommend Auspicium to anyone! Fair Lawn, NJ (PRWEB) September 23, 2013 Auspicium is bringing Construction Audit and Transition Management to the west coast! Denise Cicchella, a highly recognized industry leader and President for Auspicium will present topics over the two-day period that will enable students to bring immediate value back to their organizations. Denise is the author of the Institute of Internal Auditor’s Handbook: Construction Audit Guide: Overview, Monitoring and Auditing. She has taught construction audit around the world and now brings it to the west coast. Auspicium made the decision to take the course to the west coast when it was noted that there was an uptick in west coast companies moving locations into the city areas. Couple that with some of the major projects that can be seen going on in the area: Bay Bridge, San Francisco subway, Camp Pendleton Naval hospital, L.A light rail, Fowler Park and others. In this course, which is eligible for 16 CPE Credits, students will be introduced to proven strategies and techniques that organizations can use to enhance controls over their current projects. Attendees will learn risk avoidance techniques that they can use to help protect their projects and ensure success is achieved. So what makes a successful project? The answer depends on the organization overall strategy and the project’s mission. In Auspicium’s course, students will learn what the factors of success are, what tools are available to control these factors, what risks each possesses, how these risks are interrelated and most importantly how to audit these factors after they have been prioritized. Auspicium has built a Construction Audit Risk Evaluation – CARE ® methodology based on the pillars of these...

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By on Apr 23, 2013 in Auspicium, NACA |

Stuart Gardner was elected president  of the NY/NJ Chapter of NACA on April 20th, 2013; taking over from Denise Cicchella.  NACA provides an opportunity for construction auditors and professionals to network.  Stuart has over 20 years experience in construction audit including hospitals, data centers, and other large scale governmental projects....

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By on Aug 28, 2012 in Auspicium, NACA |

Auspicium Executive, Denise Cicchella, delivered the key note address and a presentation on Building Your Construction Audit Team The first New York/New New Jersey National Association of Construction Auditors event was held on August 22, 2012 in New York City.  Thirty-five attendees experienced first hand what the association can offer and learn valuable insights from professionals in the field.   The theme of the event was Construction Audit:  Adding Value.  Speakers included Denise Cicchella of Auspicium; Bob Cecere Jr of Thatcher Associates, Larry Bartelemucci & Finley Harckham of Anderson Kill and Olick, and Nick DiMola & Paul Flora both from Quality Plus & Associates.   Lectures included:  Get what you think you are paying for: Adding value through insurance specifications, procurement, claim quantification and valuation, A case study – after the Insurance claim, Securing the Site, and Building Your Construction Audit Team.  The afternoon concluded with a panel discussion where attendees were given the opportunity to ask their questions about construction audit and managing construction projects.  All presentations were well received. New York/New Jersey NACA Officers hosted the event to help spread awareness of the value of the construction audit profession.   Chapter Officers are Denise Cicchella – President, Bob Cecere Jr. – Vice President,  Aamir Marvi – Secretary and Salvatore Cascon – Treasurer.  The organization was formed in 2010 as the first chapter of the National Association of Construction Auditors.  The chapter was founded to advance the visibility of construction auditing in the NY/NJ metro area, provide a forum to discuss current issues in the profession, and provide networking opportunities to optimize communication and support of those in the field.  The chapter is open to auditors and non-audit construction professionals. The National Association of Construction Auditors, an organization created to enhance the control environment related to construction projects, by addressing the needs of those auditors/accountants who spend a significant amount of their efforts auditing and/or controlling construction projects; Owner construction/facilities management personnel who want to improve their knowledge base of contracts and process controls resulting in their construction projects being better managed and controlled; and project Managers/construction management personnel who want to improve their knowledge base of process controls, thereby improving the overall product delivered to their customers Auspicium is a boutique,...

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By on Jul 30, 2012 in NACA |

Auspicium’s Denise Cicchella is please to announce the first ever NY&NJ NACA open house.  Learn from …………

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