When to Stop Investigating

How does a fraud investigator know when enough investigation has been done on a case? If a scope of work was agreed upon with the client, the investigator should finish that work in order to meet her or his obligations. However, there could come a point in the investigation when the cost outweighs the benefit of further investigation. The client relies on the fraud investigator’s expertise and experience to guide the work. It is not the investigator’s job to spend as much of the client’s money as possible or stretch out the engagement as long as possible.

The fraud investigator should alert the client to the issue, and explain why there may not be much benefit in continuing the investigation. If the client still decides to continue the work, the fraud examiner should cooperate. Ultimately, it is the client’s decision to continue or suspend work.

The client is relying on the experience and expertise of the fraud investigator to guide them through the process of investigating. A good fraud investigator makes reasonable recommendations throughout the work, keeping in mind the best interest of the client and the costs related to continued investigation.

Clients appreciate the investigator who is willing to advise them that continue investigation make no sense, as well as the investigator who describes the reasons why continued investigation will likely be beneficial. Be willing to make a reasonable recommendation to the client, who is relying on your professional judgment about the direction of the investigation.

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