Investigating Compliance Comprehensively Part Two

April 26, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

Now that you are faced with having to conduct an investigation regarding fraud within your company, there are going to be a few imperative decisions that you will have to take into account before you can even begin to start to conduct your analysis. Your principal concern is whether you want your own team of your employees to do the research or if you would rather hire an outside team of investigators to conduct the inquiry. Though you may benefit from keeping the matter internalized by being able to streamline issues of governance, risk and compliance factors, and the fact that your internal employees know the company’s organization already, the over-reaching advantages of external consultants still remains prevalent with companies that are dealing with such situations as fraudulent activity within the company.

Cost is one of the most obvious concerns to deal with in regards to an external consulting team. Now you should know that when you are negotiating fees with the external consulting team, that the board of directors and executive officers should be involved in how the investigation process is run. This directly involves deadlines and goals that need to be meet in order for the process to meet the correct time and money constraints. This also applies for the process to move along in a quick and proficient manner.

Remember, the cost of the project should not be relative to its size. Do not make it an open-ended agreement regarding time spent on the project without a for-seeable end in sight. A credible external consulting team will carefully evaluate the circumstance and provide you with a set of fees that they calculated for the estimated amount of work that they will be doing. Most companies will not work for you if you only offer them a set amount of money. The most ideal situation is a set budget for each stage of work and then allow negotiation if necessary.

A rough outline provides a good investigative team with a structure that they can then build the scope of the investigation on. This should be drawn up before the investigation gets started. By starting this outline they can target the source of the fraudulent activity, start with an inquiry and work their way outward. They can make any adjustments necessary to the investigation in order to gain the whole scope of the fraudulent activity that occurred within the organization. Your compliance officers should know that in order to be effective the inquiry needs to be in-depth and concise. To be sure, this does not mean that it is to be a slow agonizing process, though it cannot be rushed. The right team will balance time efficiently and get it done and be able to provide satisfactory results.

Finally, for an effective external consultant team relationship you must develop a trust with them. Now that you have done the research and come up with your worthy consultants, you must trust them to have the skills necessary to conducts the steps to carry out the investigation at hand. Taking the time and doing the research necessary to find the correct team can help aid you in resolving a compliance failures and fraud risk management that you may have to face in the future.

Corporate Compliance Insights is a knowledge-sharing forum designed to educate and encourage informed interaction within the corporate compliance, governance and risk community. Additionally CCI offers an events calendar, professional company directory, leadership library and compliance jobs board. Visit

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