Let's clear something up right now.

Shorting isn't just about catching falling knives like AIG and Citigroup. (Though don't get us wrong -- it's important to look out for those, too.)

But often you have to dig even deeper, looking for companies that are employing accounting tricks to make their numbers seem greater than they actually are, which will come back to bite them in the rump later on.

This is exactly what John Del Vecchio, CFA -- leading forensic accountant and expert short-seller -- spends his time doing. And he's uncovered some pretty surprising facts.

He believes General Electric (NYSE: GE) is nothing but "a big black-box hedge fund" because of its GE Capital division, which could eventually lead it to "go out of business."

He called out IBM (NYSE: IBM) for "massaging earnings," asserting that there have been quarters when "100% of its earnings growth have been derived from accounting shenanigans" like buying back shares, cutting tax rates, and acquisitions.

Del Vecchio recently recommended shorting shares of WMS Industries (NYSE: WMS). This company extended favorable terms and that encouraged customers to place orders earlier than they normally would. This pulls future revenue forward, which certainly looks great now, but could look worse several quarters from now.

His shorting colleague Matt Argersinger recommended investors short shares of Bally Technologies (NYSE: BYI). He predicts a revenue slowdown because deferred revenue (a good indicator of new orders) has trended sharply lower in recent quarters.

And these are just a handful of ideas Del Vecchio and Argersinger are tossing around right now.

Care to chat?
To answer your questions about the role shorting can play in your portfolio or even the basics of a shorting strategy, we're offering you the opportunity to chat live with the Fool's shorting expert, John Del Vecchio, CFA (TMFFuz).

From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET today, Del Vecchio and his Motley Fool BIG Short team will be hosting an online chat to answer your questions -- in real time. Just click here to join the discussion.

If you can't stay around for the full chat, but you'd like to learn more about Motley Fool BIG Short, enter your email address in the box below.

The Fool has shorted shares of Bally Technologies. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.