4 Important Steps In Any Investigation

To truly understand and quantify a disputed amount we go beyond examining the detail to question the underlying assumptions and identify the relevant facts. Let’s look at each of the 4 key steps in any investigation:

1. Identify the Type of Fraud

The initial stages of the investigation are the most important. There are so many ways that people commit fraud and new types of frauds are being committed every day. Determining what category of fraud has occurred will ensure that you can find the right contacts to help you along the way.

2. Create an Investigation Plan

Creating a plan is an important and often overlooked part of the fraud investigation. It takes time, but it keeps investigations focused and organised with the numerous documents often involved in fraud cases. The team must identify the chronological events leading up to the actual fraud.

3. Interview and Re-interview the Parties Involved

Conducting backgrounds checks is a good start. Who are the parties involved? Have they been a victim of fraud in the past? Was it a similar type of fraud? Start your interview with an open-ended question designed to prompt a story and then let them tell it. Since these cases can be so complicated, the team cannot afford to miss out on any details.

4. Securing Evidence

Fraud investigations pose serious issues for collecting and preserving evidence. Depending on the case, the team must ensure that they obtain copies of credit statements, emails, bank accounts, phone records, social media posts, etc. Evidence is often obtained electronically. This virtual dimension of the evidence often creates frustration if passwords are forgotten, accounts have been frozen etc. Once the evidence is obtained, it must be analyzed, secured and documented in the case file.

Do you have any questions?

We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Lisa Byrne, Audit Manager at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, send her an email: lbyrne@cooneycarey.ie 

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