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Deborah Dickson

Managing Partner

Deborah Dickson founded the firm Smith Dickson, Certified Public Accountants, LLP, 30 years ago and continues to serve as the managing partner. Her experience includes forensic accounting and expert testimony for over 20 years.

Litigation Support

Ms. Dickson provides forensic accounting, litigation support services and expert witness testimony with an emphasis on business disputes including fraud and embezzlement, intellectual property, real estate, trust and estate, employment, and personal injury. She works as a forensic expert witness in U.S. District, State, and Probate Courts; in arbitrations; and as a court appointed neutral - providing asset and fraudulent expense tracing; economic damage analysis; lost profits and unjust enrichment calculations; forensic accounting; business valuations; financial/tax records analysis; and expert testimony.

Business Clients

Ms. Dickson personally handles the tax and accounting matters for clients and their CEOs – advising on strategic business planning, tax planning and compliance, bank financing negotiations, and financial statement presentation. She is frequently involved with due diligence and structuring of business buy/sell deals. She is a popular speaker on subjects such as tax planning and buying/selling businesses.


Ms. Dickson began her career as an auditor for Deloitte (formerly Touche Ross) and subsequently accepted an offer to run the Entrepreneurial Services Division at PricewaterhouseCoopers (formerly Coopers & Lybrand).

In her spare time, Ms. Dickson enjoys playing the piano and 1,500 pipe organ for a large congregation in Newport Beach, playing golf, and spending time with her family

More About Deborah
  • CFE(Certified Fraud Examiner) issued by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). This is awarded to financial professionals, including white collar law enforcement such as FBI agents, who have demonstrated expertise in identifying and solving monetary fraud and embezzlement schemes, attend extensive training sessions, and pass four rigorous tests.
  • CFF credential (Certified in Financial Forensics) issued by the American Institute of Public Accountants (AICPA). The CFF credential is granted exclusively to CPAs who demonstrate considerable expertise in forensic accounting through their knowledge, skills, and experience. The CFF encompasses fundamental and specialized forensic accounting skills that CPA practitioners apply in a variety of service areas, including bankruptcy and insolvency; computer forensic analysis; family law; valuations; fraud prevention, detection, and response; financial statement misrepresentation; and economic damages calculations.
  • Master Analyst in Financial Forensics (MAFF) professional certification from the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA). The Master Analyst in Financial Forensics (MAFF) credential is designed to provide assurance to the legal community – the primary users of litigation consulting services – that the designee possesses a level of experience and knowledge deemed acceptable by the Institute to provide competent and professional forensic financial support services.
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Business Valuation Certificate: Sat for and initially passed all eight examinations, earned certification.
  • IRS Southern California Advisory Committee: One of nine CPA and law firms in Southern California selected to advise IRS Laguna Niguel Service Center on policies affecting Southern California business and individual taxpayers.
  • National Association of Women Business Owners: Winner of 2016 annual Lifetime Achievement Award: gave keynote speech to 420 attendees at awards dinner.
  • President, Forensic Expert Witness Association: During two year presidency grew entities from a Southern California group to chapters throughout the State of California; hosted monthly meetings.
  • National Accounting Conference: Recognized as one of the leading CPAs in profession and was invited to give a two-hour presentation, following the AICPA vice chairman.
  • President, Orange County Management Association, BYU Marriott School of Management: During two year presidency doubled the membership of the group: hosted bi-monthly meetings and annual dinner with 450 attendees.
  • Marriott School of Management Exchange Magazine Article: Career and accomplishments highlighted in a full-page picture and article.
  • Speeches: Ms. Dickson is a frequent speaker and workshop leader on topics of a financial and tax nature.Full-page Profile in Orange County Business Journal “OC Style File:” Invited to discuss professional image and styling.
  • Segerstrom Concert Hall Solo Performances: Asked to perform solo organ concerts in 2018 and 2019 on 30 ton, 4,400 pipe Gillespie organ.
  • Advisor, Newport Beach Teen Youth Group: Planned and shared social, physical, and educational activities to engage young men and women.
Professional Affiliations:
  • Forensic Expert Witness Association, State of California, Past President
  • BYU Management Society, Past President
  • CSCPA Litigation Services Committee, Member – Sections: Economic Damages, Fraud
  • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), Member
  • Marriott School of Management, Senior Alumni Board Member
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • California Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • National Association of Certified Valuations Analysts (NACVA), Member
  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society, Chief Financial Advisor
  • Orange County CPA Litigation Services Committee, Member
  • United Way, Tocqueville Society, Member
  • Arts Orange County, Past Treasurer
  • Women Presidents' Organization, Member
  • Provisors, Member
  • Collaboration of Professional Women, Member
  • Segerstrom Center For The Arts, Business Leadership Committee
  • National Charity League, Past Treasurer
  • “Special Report on Accounting Firms,” Deborah Dickson, CPA, CFF, MAFF, was quoted in this special OCBJ Q&A with top leaders of the county’s accounting firms (Orange County Business Journal, July 11, 2016)
  • Interview on UC Irvine’s radio station,, distilling the effects of the recent tax act on individuals and their businesses. (January 8, 2013)
  • “Critical Mass for Business” radio, Interview discussing the impact of new tax law changes, (April 24, 2013)

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