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Brown, Williams, Moorhead & Quinn, Inc.

Before you get too far down the road on new energy projects, rate case plans, financial arrangements, or changes to your tax filings, contact Brown Williams to head off any regulatory issues before they become a big problem. Our experts know the lay of the land and can help steer your project toward success.

Energy Projects

Brown Williams people have had key management and regulatory roles as a part of developing a large variety of important and sizeable projects to strengthen the North American energy grid. Because of this experience, we know how to advise you to make your project succeed. Our capabilities will help you to negotiate with prospective customers, clear regulatory hurdles on time, evaluate options for pricing your project, assist with financing and regulatory accounting issues and help to complete the environmental and business details of necessary regulatory filings. We can also analyze and advise you about the strengths and weaknesses of the applications submitted by other industry participants.

Energy infrastructure is literally the backbone of the energy industry and the foundation for reliability and the array of modern service offerings and operational flexibility customers have increasingly come to expect. In order for the industry to respond to the changes and challenges of the future, it is essential that infrastructure projects be permitted and constructed in a timely, legally-compliant way. Coincidentally, regulatory processes are evolving toward earlier communication with stakeholders to identify and resolve issues, coordination and concurrent action among agencies responsible for various aspects of the project, comprehensive analysis and more efficient decision-making. Brown Williams has the expertise to guide you through these processes and reach a successful conclusion. For example, to prepare for FERC’s pre-filing process for natural gas or electric transmission projects we can articulate the scope of the proposal and schedule the initial meetings with the staff, draft the pre-filing request letter, assist with the application itself, and respond to subsequent requests for supplemental information. We would also be available to attend public outreach and scoping meetings to help the stakeholders better understand the process and the proposal. We stay current with regulatory developments and will advise you on how any new policies might affect your project.

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Financial Forensics

According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), “in 2008 the AICPA's governing Council authorized the creation of a new CPA specialty credential in forensic accounting. The credential, Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF), combines specialized forensic accounting expertise with the core knowledge and skills that make CPAs among the most trusted business advisers.  The CFF encompasses fundamental and specialized forensic accounting skills that CPA practitioners apply in a variety of service areas [such as the energy industry], including: bankruptcy and insolvency…; economic damages; ...fraud investigations; litigation support; [and] stakeholder disputes. To qualify [as a CFF], a CPA must be an AICPA member in good standing, have at least five years of experience in practicing accounting, and meet minimum requirements in relevant business experience and continuing professional education.”

Forensic accounting, or financial forensics, thus is a specialized practice area in accounting that describes engagements that result from actual or anticipated disputes or litigation. "Forensic" means "suitable for use in a court of law," and it is to that standard and potential outcome that forensic accountants generally have to work. Forensic accountants often have to give expert evidence in the form of testimony or an “experts report” at the eventual trial. Forensic accountants utilize an understanding of business information and financial reporting systems, accounting and auditing standards and procedures, evidence gathering and investigative techniques, and litigation processes and procedures to perform their work. 

Financial forensics skills are critical to the successful outcome of a wide variety of litigation and regulatory hearings in the energy industry. BWMQ personnel have extensive experience analyzing accounting and related matters, testifying at trial and assisting with settlements, and in preparing supporting financial and regulatory studies, data requests, and preparing testimony and expert reports. In addition, the firm has been involved in the industry’s key policy changes and financial difficulties, such as industry restructuring, resolving uneconomic contracts and litigation over price manipulation charges. BWMQ has personnel who are thus experienced for your most difficult challenges and are certified in financial forensics with the knowledge and ability to present your best litigation position and to assist you in achieving settlement if that outcome is feasible under your circumstances.

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Brown Wiliams, due to its intimate knowledge of regulatory, market, economic and financial trends, is well positioned to assist you with your financial and strategic plans. The firm provides market research, throughput forecasting, supply acquisition planning, competitive assessments, evaluations of new market opportunities, demand-side management, integrated resource planning and transportation rate and energy price forecasting services. We can help you to plan for rate cases and by developing test year throughput forecasts for those filings. Brown Williams has assisted LPG, petroleum product pipelines and crude oil pipelines concerning demand and supply conditions in relation to their market position. The firm has also provided market analyses and evaluations for electric utilities.

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Tax Consulting

Income, property and other taxes give rise to a variety of regulatory and financial issues that are important to helping your business succeed. Accumulated deferred income tax (ADIT) accounting issues are particularly complex and important due to their impact on rate base and cost of service. We have the knowledge and experience with regulatory tax issues that you need to address regulatory policies concerning tax recovery and rate base computations under particular business structures and the impacts of important developments, such as acquisitions, tax rate and tax base changes, on these costs in regulatory proceedings. We can assist you with corporate and partnership tax reorganizations and the related income tax implications. We advise clients on and provide testimony in property tax proceedings on the impact of regulation on the tax valuation of property.

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Other Services

Brown Williams can assist you with many other services not described in detail here. Some of them include: assisting with electronic filings; advising on regulatory compliance; preparing tariff filings and general terms and conditions of service; assisting energy projects in assembling supplies and transportation arrangements compatible with the economics of the projects; helping you to renegotiate out-of-market energy contracts; assisting with energy nominations and in balancing supplies and markets; helping to prepare filings under Section 311 of the NGPA; performing due diligence financing studies; property valuations; evaluating open access issues; performing pipeline asset refunctionalization studies; evaluating storage projects; assisting with the unique regulations pertaining to offshore pipelines; performing market power and market manipulation studies; developing econometric models; assisting entities in initiating or responding to regulatory investigations; and performing studies of entity specific or industry inflation.

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