Joseph Eve and Associates’ duties are often underappreciated and sometimes misunderstood. But the financial evaluations and audits conducted by the company are some of the most mission-critical to any casino, gaming group or government organization. Partner Grant Eve is responsible for most of the firm’s gaming clients, particularly in tribal government gaming, and has helped develop the clarity and integrity that has become Joseph Eve and Associates’ reputation.
Give us a quick overview of your firm.
Our firm consists of about 60 professionals with four offices across the Northwest, but we have clients in 30 states. We’re a niche CPA firm that focuses on gaming work, both tribal and commercial. We do lots of audits but we’re developing our technology very quickly. The technology focuses on accounting system implementation and impact. It’s been very successful so far. It’s a cloud-based accounting solution. We also have JE University, which is our Title 31 AML (anti-money laundering) training module.
Audits often seem dry, but they are very important. How does your firm conduct them?
Once we are engaged to do an audit, we come in and do a planning meeting where we go through a risk assessment, and decide which areas need attention. Then we go on site, observe the internal controls and walk through the procedures. We do a fair amount of detailed testing. At year end, you arrive on site, and you basically count the cash and the inventory. Our CPAs love it. It’s not your typical work; you’re counting millions of dollars in most cases. Then we do some more field work; we draft reports for delivery to the tribal council or the gaming commission, or in a public company, management or the board of directors.
Are you often called in before a casino opens to set up accounting systems and procedures?
Definitely. We also set up Title 31 AML compliance programs. And that happens in existing casinos, as well. Sometimes they’re operating on legacy systems and need the most updated and current procedures. We walk through all the processes from the initiation of a transaction all the way until it hits the general ledger. We discover how to create more efficiency and transparency. And we use updated technology to streamline the process and save on costs. We issue reports that are easy to decipher and move forward with the implementation.
Tell us about your cloud-based accounting solution.
It’s all automatic; nothing’s manual. It links to your smartphones and tablets. It’s an app you access
online. You can see balances, invoices and deadlines. You can approve a payment from your phone and it ties right into your audit paperwork. As an auditor, it makes your job easy. You don’t have to go through invoices or vendor files—it’s all online. It’s so much more efficient. And the return on investment is there immediately.
The Title 31 AML issue is crucial these days. Have the casinos responded to this challenge?
No doubt. And to back up, casinos are viewed as a financial institution, so they’re in the same segment as banks and money service businesses. A lot of people don’t realize that in 2014, FinCEN set up a stand-alone enforcement division. We’re really seeing the repercussions of this now. In 2015, casinos had more enforcement actions against them than any other industry. So casinos are really taking a look at their AML compliance programs. In addition, we’ve seen the IRS at casinos more in the past two years than in the five previous years combined. And since casinos are considered high-risk clients, banks are demanding that they are fully AML compliant. We’ve seen several banks walk away from casino clients in the past year because of AML issues. So this is very serious.