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Categories: Blog, Expert Interviews

Expert Interview: P. Dermot O'Neill


The TASA Times brings you exclusive content, such as our newly minted expert interviews that provide a deeper look at our valued expert witnesses.

P. Dermot O'Neill is a public accounting expert witness with TASA. Below, please read his response to: "How did you decide to become an expert witness?"

“Becoming” is present tense so one is continually striving to become an expert. Our professions are dynamic and continually changed by new data, technology, rules, research, insights, etc. One needs to be passionate about their areas in the “becoming” process. 

I started in a traditional CPA firm environment – preparing audits, financial statements and tax returns. Since I was an adjunct at a local university, I was considered an expert in accounting but the passion for auditing was missing. Recognizing that the small and medium sized businesses were more interested in taxes than financial information, I pursued graduate studies in taxation. I began to feel the passion dealing with substantive tax issues as opposed to compliance tax issues. 

Taxation began to be perceived as a commodity when public companies began acquiring CPA firms on a national level; among others, American Express and H&R Block. Taxation in a CPA firm environment shifted from dealing with substantive issues to compliance issues – there went the passion. 

I had dabbled in litigation (first case in 1976) and business valuation and enjoyed the challenging experiences. I decided I could be passionate about litigation and business valuation and began taking courses in business valuation and received my first designation. I left the traditional CPA firm environment when I was hired to perform business valuations for a national firm. Since the skill set for valuations and damages are similar, I was soon sought to testify in cases involving business valuations in litigation and IRS issues. My experience quickly expanded into commercial and personal damage measurement, insolvency analysis, tax issues, etc. 

Today, 20 years later, I am still passionate about what I do and how I do it and am still “becoming” an expert.

Dermot presented a two-part webinar series entitled Reading Financial Statements for Lawyers. Please view Part 1 or Part 2 now to gain valuable knowledge from this expert.

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