Preserving Evidence in a Fraud Investigation

Document management is critical in any fraud investigation. Larger cases mean more documents, so the process of managing them is even more important (and maybe more complicated). Part of the document management process is preserving original evidence so that it may someday be used in court. While an investigator often …

Making a Company Look Better with Asset Overstatement

When a company is struggling, it is tempting to manipulate the financial statements to make things look better. Even when things are going well, management may want or need the company to look even better than it already does. Banks, investors, and other interested parties are looking at the financial …

Digging into the Background of Company Owners and Executives

Have you ever wanted or needed to do a background check on an owner or executive of a company? If you’re considering investing in a public or private company, you may want to find out information on the people who started the company, those who currently own it, and those …

Creative Accounting or Financial Statement Fraud?

Companies engaged in financial statement fraud sometimes use creative phrases to legitimize or cover up what they’re doing. Examples include: Aggressive accounting – We’re following the rules, but pushing the limits to make the financial statements look as good as possible. Earnings management – We’re doing our best to “manage” …

Internal Company Records Used in a Fraud Investigation

In a corporate fraud investigation, the most abundant source of information about the fraud will likely come from internal records of the company. Remember, of course, that the internal records will be not only be paper records, but will be digital as well. In fact, the volume of digital records …

Questions to Ask at the Start of a Fraud Investigation

In order to properly plan a fraud investigation, a fraud examiner needs to be able to ask good questions that extract valuable information about what needs to be done. The specific questions vary with each investigation, but the following are some basic areas that an investigator should strongly consider exploring. …