78 Students Attend SAA Meeting to Hear Alumna Hogue Speak about Forensic Accounting

Posted on 10/25/2018 9:42:48 AM

On October 17, 2018, the Student Accounting Association hosted Aaryn Hogue, a manager with Gleason, headquartered in Pittsburgh. Gleason is a forensic accounting and litigation support services firm. Hogue holds the following certifications: CPA (certified public accountant), CFE (certified fraud examiner), and CFF (certified in financial forensics). She is an IUP alumna with a BA degree in criminology (2003) and an AA degree in accounting (2004). Hogue was a student in SAA faculty advisor Kim Anderson’s accounting classes in spring 2001 and spring 2002.

According to Gleason’s website, Hogue’s “specialty is ‘following the money’—whether that involves understanding a complex fraud investigation, quantifying an embezzlement scheme, or performing a forensic/financial analysis. She often assists clients seeking to recover their losses through applicable insurance channels. She is an expert at helping her clients understand and minimize their potential exposure and vulnerability to fraud through risk assessment, and through design and implementation of internal control systems.”

SAA Gleason Mtg

Aaryn Hogue, IUP criminology and accounting alumna, spoke to the SAA on October 17. Hogue is a manager at Gleason, a forensic accounting firm in Pittsburgh. Shown in the photo are, front row: Manaswita Choudhary (MBA student); Aaryn Hogue, manager, Gleason; Kim Anderson, SAA faculty advisor; Meg Anderson (high school student); back row: Tyler Novotny (junior accounting major), and Anthony Maticic, SAA president

Hogue began her presentation by describing the initial stages of her career. After she graduated from IUP, she dreamed of working for the FBI, so she began the process of applying to work for the government as an FBI agent. As she phrased it, she put all her eggs in one basket. When she finally received notification that there was not enough money in their budget to hire her, she was devastated.

Hogue had not applied anywhere else for a job, but, upon receiving the bad news, she immediately started to look elsewhere. In the meantime, she was waitressing to make money until she found a job. It was here that she started chatting with two customers about her background and failure at landing her dream job. The two customers just happened to be starting a small accounting firm and told her to contact them for a job. They ended up hiring her.

At this small firm, Hogue recalls performing stereotypical accounting tasks. She described the tasks as tedious and repetitive. However, the skills that she learned from this job were important, and she was gaining experience as an accountant. While at this job, a friend told her about Gleason, which eventually lead Hogue to beginning her job there 10 years ago.

Hogue went on to explain the differences between auditing and forensic accounting. The first main difference is that, in auditing, a sample is selected using statistics, and tests are performed on this sample for material errors. However, in forensic accounting, all the data is examined to find whatever fraud or damages might be involved. The second difference is that, in auditing, the client sometimes views the auditor as an adversary and a hindrance. Conversely, clients generally view forensic accountants as advocates who are there to help them. 

It was clear that Hogue really enjoys her job at Gleason. She finds catching “the bad guys” who are committing fraud at companies very rewarding.  There can be periods when she may not have a lot of work to do, but, at any moment, that can transform into her being extremely busy with multiple cases at once. Because there is no accountant-client confidentiality, a lot of her work is paperless, meaning notes are not taken on what clients divulge so that the other side cannot subpoena that information. Overall, she was very enthusiastic about her career, emphasizing that catching fraudsters can be very rewarding.

The SAA’s next meeting is on Tuesday, November 13, at 6:00 p.m. in the Eberly Auditorium. This meeting will feature Pamela Spikner, the director of corporate accounting at Exelon. Spikner is a 1998 IUP accounting alumna. According to their website, Exelon is “a Fortune 100 company that work​s in every stage of the energy​​​ business: power generation, competitive energy sales, transmission, and delivery.” In addition, they are the leading competitive energy provider in the United States. All interested students are welcome to attend the SAA meetings.

Eberly College of Business and Information Technology