Who should investigate your fraud?
The background of a fraud investigator makes a significant difference in the investigation of a fraud. Typically, financial investigators come from one of three backgrounds: Accounting and auditing, law enforcement, and banking or investment banking. All are capable, and each have their strengths.
• Accountants are very good at getting to the heart of the fraud and quantifying the amount of loss.
• Law enforcement is generally good at figuring out what was done wrong and who took advantage of this, at developing a case for prosecution, and at designing a protocol to prevent it from happening again.
• Investment bankers are better at viewing the whole of the fraud, its impact, and appropriate recovery.
Each of these can be important, and the type of fraud and the organizational objectives should play a part in deciding the background of the fraud investigator. It also means that hiring fraud investigators with different backgrounds can bring useful alternatives and choice for the organization.