Last week I spent three days in the Atlanta area providing training for the Georgia CPA Society. One of the topics I presented was an in-depth session on internal investigations, called Books, Crooks & Rooks: Internal Corporate Fraud Investigations.
Here are a few pointers for companies attempting to do internal investigations:
- Create an investigative policy that helps determine when to do a full-blown investigation.
- Assemble a team of competent professionals, and appoint a captain for the ship. The team should include an experienced fraud examiner, corporate security, a management representative, outside consultants for specialties such as computer forensics, and legal counsel.
- Establish a game plan. What is the scope of the investigation? What is our budget? Who does what?
- Follow good procedures. Maintain the chain of custody of evidence, keep information confidential, and keep track of important dates in the investigation.
- Remember that the results of your investigation may someday end up in a court room. Document your findings accordingly.