As you explore our web site, you’ll find that we’re not your typical public accounting firm.
In addition to individual and business tax return preparation, exam representation, and consulting services, our firm offers forensic accounting services. Forensic accounting is the use of specialized knowledge, experience, and training (e.g., fraud, business valuation, economic damages, family law / divorce and shareholder disputes) in a legal setting— consulting and expert witness testimony. We are committed to the advancement of this specialized field, supplementing our professional practice with contributions to education and research. Please visit the links on our main page to learn more about RMA and forensic accounting.
Our approach to serving clients is both personal and professional. To this end, we understand that each client / case is unique and brings a different set of facts and circumstances. Armed with case specifics, we employ subject matter expertise, experience, and a commitment to a job well done.
Our firm was organized as Rufus & Rufus A.C. in 1985 by Dr. Robert Rufus, following five years of employment with the Internal Revenue Service. The nature of the firm’s practice evolved from general accounting and tax service to “forensic accounting” as awareness / demand for these specialized skills intensified following the accounting scandals of the late ‘90s (e.g., Enron, WorldCom, Kmart, Adelphia, and Arthur Anderson) and mandates of the Court/s for expert witness testimony. The firm was well positioned to meet the demand, given Dr. Rufus’ training, education, and experience in forensic accounting and litigation support. Dr. Rufus is known as a pioneer of forensic accounting in West Virginia, being among the first in the state to acquire the CVA designation. He continues to be a leader in the local industry, both as a practicing professional and educator. Dr. Rufus’ concentrated practice areas include fraud, tax, professional conduct, and valuation.
In January of 2017, the firm name changed to Rufus, Miller & Associates, A.C. to reflect the addition of Dr. Laura Savory Miller as an equity partner. Dr. Miller has worked with the firm as a forensic analyst since 2003 with a concentrated practice in business valuation and economic damages. With the combined expertise and experience of Dr. Rufus and Dr. Miller, our firm is uniquely qualified to tackle complex engagements. Our focused practice model allows us to offer personalized service while maintaining a standard of excellence.
Forensic accounting is the application of accounting concepts and principles in a legal context. This field of practice extends far beyond “traditional” accounting, incorporating knowledge from several other disciplines, such as finance, economics, statistics, law, research, and investigative methods.
Although most people equate forensic accounting with fraud investigation, the scope of forensic accounting work is actually much broader. Forensic accounting services can be divided into two major components: investigative services and litigation services.
See our Services for information on specific types of forensic accounting engagements.
In 2008, the firm partnered with the University of Charleston (WV) to develop UC’s Master of Forensic Accounting (MFAcc) program. This 16-month graduate program is presented in a unique hybrid format, including both online and in-person components. Dr. Rufus and Dr. Miller are responsible for the program’s ongoing curriculum development and also serve as lead instructors.
In 2014, Dr. Robert Rufus and Dr. Laura Miller co-authored a textbook on forensic accounting, the first of its kind to offer a comprehensive and authentic view of forensic accounting practice. This text, which is intended for use at both the senior undergraduate and graduate levels, is published by Pearson Higher Education and is available for purchase from their online catalog.Learn More/Purchase the Textbook
We have long-standing relationships with a diverse mix of individual and business tax clients.
As a former IRS agent, Dr. Rufus is intimately familiar with the policies and procedures of the IRS. He has represented numerous taxpayers in both civil and criminal investigations.
We perform business valuations of closely held companies for a variety of purposes. Common drivers of these engagements include:
Unlike public companies, which are valued in the capital markets via competitive bidding among buyers and sellers, values of private (or closely held) companies are not easily determined. Essentially, the value of a business (like any asset) is the present value of its future benefits. Based on various factors related to the economy, the industry, and the specific company, a valuation professional applies expertise and judgment to identify a reasonable value.
We are engaged by attorneys (both plaintiff and defendant) to calculate economic damages related to civil litigation, such as tort or breach of contract claims. Common examples of such claims include personal injury, wrongful death, wrongful termination, and business interruption. Economic damages are the monetary compensation that is awarded to a plaintiff that has been injured as a result the defendant’s alleged action/s.
We have provided expert witness testimony in many state and federal courts.
We consult with business owners/operators regarding issues such as:
Dr. Robert J. Rufus, the Managing Principal of RMA, has more than 35 years of field experience as a forensic expert and investigative accountant in both civil and criminal matters. He started his professional career with the Treasury Department, where he worked as an IRS agent for five years. Dr. Rufus is currently the Lead Instructor for the Master of Forensic Accounting program at the University of Charleston, located in Charleston, WV. He has also held instructor positions at Ohio University and Marshall University. Dr. Rufus has contributed to the science of forensic accounting through numerous journal publications and conference presentations. He received his B.S. from Concord College, his M.B.A. from Marshall University, and his D.B.A. from Nova Southeastern University, all with concentrations in Accounting. Dr. Rufus is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Valuation Analyst, Certified in Financial Forensics, and a licensed private investigator.
Dr. Laura Savory Miller has worked as a forensic analyst with the firm since 2003. She has authored or co-authored more than 250 expert opinion reports and has testified in several jurisdictions. Her areas of specialization include business valuations, quantitative methods, and calculations of economic damages. Dr. Miller is also a lead instructor in the University of Charleston’s Master of Forensic Accounting program and provides investment advisory services through Advanced Investment Strategies, Inc. She received her B.S. in Finance from Marshall University, her M.A. in Economics from Ohio University, and her D.B.A. in Finance from Nova Southeastern University. Her professional designations include Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Valuation Analyst.