Amy Gonce is a Senior Managing Director at Ankura Consulting and is based in Washington, DC. Ms. Gonce has over twenty years of experience in forensic accounting investigation and analysis, technical accounting, review of internal controls and has served as an expert witness. She has performed a great deal of work in the healthcare, financial services and software industries and has worked with organizations in both the public and private sectors.
Ms. Gonce’s work has comprised of various forensic accounting projects including internal investigations, Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement actions, Department of Justice investigations, technical accounting analysis, support and review, and post purchase acquisition disputes. Through those engagements, Ms. Gonce has dealt with technical accounting issues including revenue recognition (SAB 104, SOP 97-2, EITF 01-9 Bill and Hold sales, and Channel Stuffing), judgmental reserves, accounting for contingencies, assessing materiality, treatment of accounting changes, and impairment.
Ms. Gonce has also assisted clients in assessing internal controls and understanding the responsibilities and work conducted by its auditors. Ms. Gonce has served as an expert witness in cases involving questions about accounting practices and employee embezzlement. Results of her work have served as exhibits in Securities and Exchange Commission matters, bench trials and arbitration panels. During the course of her work, Ms. Gonce has appeared before the Securities and Exchange Commission, Committees of the House and Senate, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. District Attorney’s office and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.
Ms. Gonce’s professional experience includes:
- Internal Investigation Triggered by Short-Seller Allegations – Led the accounting investigation into short-seller allegations of financial statement fraud at a public company. Responsibilities included leading the team of investigators to develop the facts and identify potential accounting issues through electronic evidence and witness interviews. The engagement also included the assessment of the company’s internal controls. Ultimately, accounting issues were identified regarding the company’s recognition of revenue, classification and timing of expenses and other sales practices. As a result of the various issues identified, the company restated its financial statements. We assisted the company in its cooperation with investigations conducted by the SEC and the PCAOB.
- Forensic Investigation of Accounting at Newly Acquired Company – Led the accounting investigation of a foreign division of a public medical device company where an employee indicated that irregularities had occurred. Untangling the scheme required examining the source documents, data within the financial systems, manual journal entries and identifying spreadsheets used to keep track of the second set of books. Ultimately, the schemes were perpetrated largely through various premature and/or false transactions in the sales, inventory, fixed assets and accounts payable accounts. In addition to developing the facts and outlining the methods by which the schemes were executed, we assisted the company in responding to the SEC’s inquiries in connection with their investigation.
- SEC Investigation Triggered by Asset Impairment Write-Down – Assisted the CFO of a public offshore marine servicing company in defending the Company’s decision to write-down certain assets. The SEC questioned the timing of the decision, suggesting that the Company inappropriately delayed its assessment and write-down determination. Responsibilities included analyzing the facts, preparing analyses to demonstrate the reasonableness of determinations made by the Company and advise the client in its discussions with the SEC with regard to the allegations.
- Assistance Company Counsel in Defense of SEC Inquiry Triggered by Whistleblower – Assisted a public financial institution in its defense of an SEC inquiry triggered by a whistleblower. The allegations related to questions about judgements made in connection with a loan loss model and the underlying inputs. The allegations were for the two quarters preceding the great recession. Responsibilities included gathering and analyzing the facts, understanding the loss model and inputs, assisting the attorneys and the company in understanding the underlying accounting guidance and strengths and weaknesses of the case and preparing submission and presenting to the SEC.
- Embezzlement Scheme – Expert Witness – Led the investigation into company allegations of an overbilling scheme perpetrated by an employee and technology vendor. The scheme involved a technology consultant for whom the employee was responsible for hiring and supervising. As a result of the investigation, kickback arrangements with two additional technology vendors were discovered. The investigation included the review and acquisition of evidence, interviews of witnesses, forensic analysis and preparation of an expert report. Upon submission of the expert report to the defendant, the parties engaged in settlement discussions and a settlement was reached prior to trial.
- Ponzi Scheme Forensics – Led the forensic investigation for several of the investors in the Madoff investors suspected to have known of the fraud. Responsibilities included culling through and examining the available manual and electronic records to identify facts related to specific transactions to assist the attorneys in building the evidence for clawbacks. I also led the effort to identify and give credit to Madoff investors who had contributed “real” securities.
- Big Four Audit Malpractice Defense – Assisted a public accounting firm in the defense of an audit malpractice suit brought by a multi-hospital healthcare system. Responsibilities included analyzing the adequacy of healthcare accounts receivable, reviewing audit workpapers, determining compliance with GAAP and GAAS, analyzing subsequent receipts for collectability, reviewing and analyzing complainant’s expert reports, identifying forces impacting the market, comparing financial statement performance of client to industry benchmarks and preparing trial demonstratives to explain complex accounting transactions to the arbitration panel.
- Accounting Allegations in Connection with a Post-Acquisition Dispute – Assisted a private company that was acquired by a public company in defense of its pre-acquisition accounting practices. The dispute involved questions about revenue recognition, expense recognition and other specific accounting policies. After completion of an extensive report, the companies settled on favorable terms.
- Technical Accounting – Assistance in Preclearing Accounting Conclusions with SEC’s OCA – Assisted a public medical technology company in its effort to pre-clear its accounting conclusions with the SEC’s Office of the Chief Accountant. The client sought to confirm it belief that it had established Vendor Specific Objective Evidence of Fair Value of Post Contract Customer Support for its software support and maintenance agreements. Responsibilities included understanding the facts, researching the accounting, preparing the submission and participating in the call with the OCA. The company’s accounting was successfully pre-cleared with the OCA.
Prior to joining Ankura in 2016, Ms. Gonce was a Managing Director in the Investigations and Forensic Accounting Practice at FTI Consulting.
Ms. Gonce began her career at Arthur Andersen and left as a Senior Manager in Arthur Andersen’s Southeast Region consulting practice. She joined Arthur Andersen in 1992 as an Auditor in their Audit and Business Advisory practice.
Ms. Gonce holds a Bachelor of Science in Business and Management from the University of Maryland, College Park.