The Fraud Examiner

CFE's Childhood Experience Sparks a Passion for Fighting Fraud in Small Businesses

April 2015

ACFE Member Profile

Raised in the small town of Robbins, California, Samuel Martin, CFE, CPA, was in his teens when he witnessed a family friend lose his business, home and livelihood to embezzlement. The incident sparked Martin’s passion for fighting fraud within vulnerable small businesses. “I began reading and hearing more about how much of an issue this was with businesses today,” Martin said. “That [fraud] didn’t only affect the large corporations. The small business owners were being affected, too, and the impact was much larger on them.” As a partner at Brotemarkle, Davis & Co LLP Martin helps create stronger controls around small business finance departments, and makes sure that the businesses become successful. “The most rewarding part of my job is having the ability to share my knowledge with various small businesses to help them succeed and to provide them with controls to help reduce the possibility of fraud occurring within their organization.”

You call yourself “Inspector Gadget” on your LinkedIn profile. Why do you think that title suits what you do in your role?

I think that title fits me because I spend nearly all of my time performing compliance audits for different companies and looking for ways to help small business owners improve their controls and become successful. I always look to technology to help improve this process and help business owners strengthen their controls, especially when they lack adequate segregation of duties. 


What do you wish you knew (but didn’t) when you first contemplated this career?

This career has evolved beyond someone sitting behind a desk all day crunching numbers. You need to be able to go out and talk to a lot of different people on a regular basis and sometimes give them information that they aren’t happy to receive. This could be a tough task for an introvert like me, but it’s enjoyable to know that by developing relationships, business owners respect your thoughts and are willing to embrace your recommendations. 


What steps led you to your current role and what does that role entail?

Approximately five years ago I discussed with our firm’s audit partner about specializing in assurance work and no longer preparing income taxes. This allowed me to focus on all the areas surrounding audits which included internal controls. In my current role, I focus entirely on audit and attest services for our customers and advise them on ways to help them improve their internal processes.

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