Patricia A. Patrick

Color portrait of Patricia A. Patrick

Clinical Associate Professor of Accounting

Department Accounting
Office Address 377 Business Building
Phone Number 814-867-5799
Email Address

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Dr. Patrick joined the Smeal College of Business in Fall 2014 as a Clinical Associate Professor of Accounting. Her teaching interests inlcude forensic accounting, auditing, and government accounting. Dr. Patrick comes to Penn State from the Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, where she was a tenured Associate Professor of Accounting. Dr. Patrick's primary research interest is fiscal distress in municipal governments. She has received grants from the Center for Rural Pennsylvania and other bipartisan think tanks to investigate fiscal distress. Dr. Patrick loves teaching and was elected "Faculty Mentor of the Year" in spring 2014 by the Shippensburg University student athletes. Dr. Patrick tries to make accounting information easy for students to understand and engages students by using group work, simulated fraud/audit documents, service learning projects, and student presentations. Dr. Patrick is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, and Certified Government Financial Manager.


Financial and accounting issues in municipal governments


Ph D, Public Administration, Penn State Harrisburg, 2007

MBA, Business Administration, Penn State Harrisburg, 2003

BA, Professional Accountancy, Penn State Harrisburg, 1986

AA, Business Administration, Harrisburg Area Community College, 1984

Courses Taught

ACCTG 483 – Forensic Acctg (3)
Study of investigative accounting, consulting and litigation support activities undertaken in forensic accounting engagements. ACCTG 483 Forensic Accounting (3) ACCTG 483 is the exploration of the broad discipline known as "forensic accounting" which includes a variety of investigative accounting, valuation, damage assessment and litigation support services. Forensic accounting is an evolving discipline which is distinguished from assurance services in that it does not involve reporting on the fairness of financial statements. It generally involves the investigation and analysis of financial data for some specific purpose - obtaining an in-depth understanding of information that enables the forensic accountant to prove, disprove or at least confidently speculate about allegations related to the information and to report those findings objectively. Forensic accountants are involved in presenting analyses that might be valuable for such things as settling legal disputes, calculating economic damages, valuing intellectual property, determining the extent of damage or loss due to fraud, or tracing elusive assets or revenue sources. A forensic accountant might also participate in pro-active engagements such as the development of systems and procedures to prevent fraud. The first part of the course deals with the technical and ethical framework of forensic accounting and focuses on the understanding of forensic and investigative accounting including investigation methodology, the nature of fraud, fraud risk factors, financial statement fraud, litigation support and dispute resolution services and development of the skills needed in those professional activities. These skills include the ability to integrate knowledge of accounting, finance, economics, business law and other business disciplines in gathering, analyzing and evaluating evidence and drawing conclusions. The second part of the course focuses on forensic accounting investigation and analysis of financial information in connection with litigation, dispute resolution, estimation of economic damages, or other specific objectives, and the preparation of comprehensive, objective reports of findings and conclusions.

ACCTG 403W – Auditing (3)
Financial, compliance, internal, and operational audits; standards and procedures; sampling; EDP auditing; professional issues; application of concepts through written responses. ACCTG 403W Auditing (3) Financial statement, regulatory and contract compliance, internal and operational audits, professional standards and ethical conduct; statistical and judgmental sampling; the audit-impact of information technology; audit risk and internal control structure evaluation; application of procedures in transaction cycles; audit reporting; professional issues.

ACCTG 803 – Forensic Accounting and Litigation Support (3)
Study of investigative accounting, consulting and litigation support activities undertaken in forensic accounting engagements.

Selected Publications

Trussel J. M., Patrick P. A., "Assessing and Ranking the Financial Risk of Municipal Governments: The Case of Pennsylvania." Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 19, no. 1, 2018, pp. 88-101
Trussel J. M., Patrick P., "The Socio-Demographic, Economic and Financial Profiles of Municipalities at Risk of Financial Distress in Pennsylvania." Austin Journal of Accounting, Audit and Finance Management, 2014
Patrick P., Trussel J. M., "The Nature and Extent of Financial Distress in Pennsylvania's Municipalities." Journal of Government Financial Management, 2014
Patrick P., Trussel J. M., "The Symptoms and Consequences of Fiscal Distress in Municipalities." Accounting and the Public Interest, 2013
Patrick P., Trussel J. M., "Predicting County Expenditures by Policy Area." International Research Journal of Applied Finance, 2013
Patrick P., Trussel J. M., "Predicting Fiscal Distress in Special District Governments." Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management, 2013

Research Impact and Media Mention

"Four Townships Struggling with Finances in Franklin County", Public Opinion (Chambersburg PA), Newspaper