Brian McDowell
Managing Director

Internal & Forensic Accounting Investigations; CPA

Brian McDowell is a Managing Director at Ankura with nearly 20 years of experience specializing in providing forensic accounting and financial fraud investigative services for Securities and Exchange Commission investigations as well as corporate internal investigations conducted on behalf of audit committees and/or boards of directors, often arising from regulatory actions or whistleblower allegations. He is a Certified Public Accountant and is based in Atlanta, GA.

  • Experience

    Brian advises clients and legal counsel on design and review of large volumes of electronic and hard copy documents, interviews, research on generally accepted accounting principles issues and assess exposure, and witness preparation. He has conducted investigations and reviews of large and small organizations across a range of industries in the public and private sectors, including financial services, manufacturing, retail, transportation, telecommunications, medical device, insurance, healthcare, government, and nonprofits.

    Brian’s professional experience includes:

    • Engaged to assist management and outside counsel for a leading diagnostics company to review the company’s global assessment of revenue recognition and determine whether revenue was properly recorded. Engagement included an investigation into fraudulent revenue recording practices at a foreign subsidiary involving fabrication of transaction records to facilitate early revenue recognition. Conducted witness interviews and examined transaction details and supporting documentation to evaluate when delivery occurred and when title and risk of loss passed. Assisted management and counsel in communicating results of the investigation in meetings with auditors and the SEC Division of Enforcement.
    • Provided investigative and litigation support to the trustee for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. Specifically, managed the investigation into the activities of one of the largest known Ponzi schemes for a select group of accounts. Responsibilities included liaising with counsel and devising and implementing methodologies to detect fraudulent transactions in client statements and other contemporaneous records, and performing data analyses and preparation of summary findings of analyses used by counsel in complaints against various parties and institutions.
    • Assisted a medical device company in preparing restated financial statements and SEC filings covering a five-year period. Responsibilities included managing a team of staff in conducting a detailed review of accounts receivable balances and testing for collectability, conducting a multinational review of expenses to assess appropriateness, calculating restatement adjustments, and reviewing disclosure rules, restatement tables, footnotes, and disclosures for 10-K/A.
    • Assisted outside counsel in an internal investigation of accounting and reporting issues at both the global headquarters and international subsidiaries of a leading self-service ATM and security systems and services company. Work involved travel to the company’s global headquarters based in the US, and to its shared services center in Europe, to perform on-site examination of financial records and underlying support for both corporate headquarters and reporting subsidiaries located throughout Asia, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Extensive review and search for possible accounting issues related to revenue recognition included bill and hold sales, inventory valuations, contingency reserves, and other unusual accounting adjustments. Obtained applicable support for questionable accounting entries and assisted counsel in conducting interviews of shared services personnel, in-country accountants, and US staff and management to identify non-GAAP practices and actions. Communicated issues and resolution of issues to the audit committee, the company’s external auditor, and their forensic counterparts. Findings resulted in personnel changes and contributed to the need to restate financial results.
    • Assisted outside counsel for the audit committee of a Fortune 1000 professional services company in its investigation into allegations of improper revenue recognition. Conducted fact-finding interviews, and document review and analysis, and reported results to senior management.
    • Assisted outside counsel of a multibillion-dollar Fortune 50 retail company to advise management on procedures and methods to improve internal controls related to obtaining, tracking, and accounting for vendor funding arrangements. Assisted counsel in conducting fact-finding interviews, document review and analysis, database analysis, and assessment of potential accounting issues.
    • Assisted outside counsel for the audit committee of a protective apparel manufacturer in its investigation into allegations of undisclosed related-party transactions, accounting, and disclosure issues, and unjust enrichment of officers and directors. Conducted fact-finding interviews of company executives, and reviewed multiple years of corporate expense documentation and credit card statements for numerous company credit cards. Assisted in the preparation of an expert report, which was presented to the audit committee.
    • Assisted outside counsel for the audit committee of Freddie Mac in its six-month independent internal investigation into whistleblower allegations of earnings management and fraud. Assisted counsel in conducting interviews, reviewing large volumes of electronic and paper records, researching accounting issues, and presenting findings to senior management, the company’s auditor, and the company’s forensic team shadowing the investigation. The results of the investigation were publicly made available to the SEC and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.


  • News & events
  • In the community, Donor
    Fulton County Animal Services, Volunteer/Donor
    Atlanta Humane Society, Donor
    Atlanta Botanical Garden, Member Sponsor