If you’re familiar with the process of a financial statement audit, you know all about audit work programs. They’re basically the checklists and guides that auditors use to make sure they follow all the required steps for auditing the financial statements. Because these audits are fairly standardized, the work programs ensure that all critical work is completed, all important questions have been answered, and all key concerns are documented.
In contrast, fraud investigators have very little that resembles work programs or investigation guides. Each investigation is unique, which makes it difficult to create a one-size-fits-all approach to performing the engagement. Fraud investigators are more likely to rely on some basic checklists to guide the engagement in general, with specific investigation procedures being developed and performed as the engagement progresses.