Baker Tilly Partner Duffus Speaks to SAA

Posted on 3/22/2019 10:09:04 AM

On March 6, 2019, the Student Accounting Association hosted David Duffus, a partner with the Pittsburgh office of Baker Tilly, as their guest speaker. Duffus spoke to the 63 accounting majors who attended about forensic accounting.

With 25 years’ experience, Duffus specializes in applying forensic accounting techniques for damage analysis and valuations. Additionally, he provides services related to fraud and forensic investigations and has testified over 50 times, including more than 25 times at trial. He is a certified public accountant, certified fraud examiner, certified in financial forensics, and is accredited in business valuation.

Katie Williams, Kim Anderson, David Duffus, and Jordan Schofield

David Duffus was a student in the first accounting class the SAA faculty advisor, Kim Anderson, ever taught in the fall 1987 semester when she was a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh. From left: Katie Williams, senior accounting major; Kim Anderson; David Duffus; and Jordan Schofield, SAA vice president of finance.

Kim Anderson, the SAA faculty advisor, invited Duffus to campus. He was a student in the very first accounting class Anderson ever taught during the fall 1987 semester at the University of Pittsburgh, where she was a doctoral teaching assistant.

After completing his undergraduate degree majoring in business and economics, Duffus began his career in banking, where he worked for two years. He could not envision himself working in banking for his entire career, so he returned to the University of Pittsburgh for his MBA with a concentration in accounting. Upon graduating, he accepted a position in the Dispute Analysis and Investigations practice of PwC in Pittsburgh. Duffus joined Baker Tilly in 2004, where, according to their website, he “oversees assignment planning, supervision of staff, performing analyses, discovery assistance, and expert testimony for the forensic, litigation, and valuation services practice in Pittsburgh.”

Duffus talked to the students about the many different types of work involved with forensic accounting, including litigation support, which can involve testifying as an expert witness at trials. He said testifying can be very stressful, but, in the end, is also very rewarding. He also offered advice to the students, such as urging them to take chances and to move out of their comfort zone. By pushing oneself, opportunities will present themselves. It is also important to make oneself indispensable. Giving back to the profession is a good thing to do as well, such as speaking to the SAA. He also emphasized the importance of passing the CPA exam as soon as possible.

The next SAA meeting will be March 25, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. in Eberly room 312. The speaker will be Jim Recacci, a 1980 IUP accounting alumnus, who spent the first three years of his career in public accounting and spent the last eight years as a member of the United States House of Representatives.

Eberly College of Business and Information Technology