2 years ago

A Guide To Commercial Investigation Within Your Company

Commercial crimes are financially motivated crimes committed by individuals, businesses or government professionals, some of these crimes include, but are not limited to hacking, fraudulent acts, cyber extortion, theft, cheating, forgery, siphoning of business, receiving kickbacks, leaking of confidential information, and conflict of interests..

While there is no way to completely prevent commercial crimes from happening within your company, business leaders who understand how to spot early signs of fraud and prevent it effectively can lessen the damage commercial fraud and crimes have on their business. Here’s what you should do.

1. Identify Threats & Vulnerabilities

The first step in safeguarding your business is to have a clear view of how your company operates. If any unusual behaviour is carried out, being aware of the movements and transactions surrounding your organisation will allow you to easily identify potential dangers and vulnerabilities.

In every company, there will be departments that have more access to confidential information compared to others. People who work in these areas, such as sales, accounting, and procurement, have access to critical information that might impact your company. These are areas of greatest opportunity and precautions should be taken to guarantee that your staff are not involved in bribes, kickbacks, or other forms of corruption.

Reviews, such as analysing financial statements, should be conducted regularly to detect any signs of threat, vulnerability, or abnormal activity. Early detection can help you prevent these issues from becoming more serious. 

2. Develop a Fraud Response Plan

In the event of a fraud, a fraud response plan ensures that effective and prompt action can be implemented. Companies that lack a clear fraud response strategy may struggle to resolve commercial fraud and crimes within their organisation due to a lack of an appropriate workflow.

Needless to say, if your organisation has a proper structure in place, you can quickly conduct commercial investigations and protect your business interests, minimising the damage.

Your fraud response plan should specify reporting lines, duties, as well as specific steps to be taken, and how information should be conveyed should a fraud be detected. It should also include contact details of fraud investigators in Singapore who can assist your company in commercial investigations, detailing their role in the process. 

3. Investigate Possibilities of Fraud

Following the creation of a fraud response strategy and the development of a response team, the team should conduct early discussions and investigations to gather information about any potential fraud allegations.

If fraudulent activity, bribery, conflict of interests, or other business fraud is identified, the fraud response team should work with a fraud investigator to begin commercial investigations.

The commercial investigation process includes many aspects, they include:

  • Understanding the circumstances leading to fraud or subject matter
  • Gathering background from Management, Human Resource or the Business Owner
  • Strategic planning and devising approaches
  • Fact-finding interviews
  • Exhibit management
  • Analysing documents
  • Data analysing
  • Various Sources of information, offline/online
  • Covert/Overt investigations

Digital investigation, computer forensics and other forensic works, namely preserving and collecting data from network files, documents on a subject’s or employee’s hard drive, email, email archives, text messages, and other communications are also included in the commercial investigation process. Financial, corporate, and electronic records should also be examined to identify any anomalies.

Engage the services of a commercial investigation company for digital investigations as their digital forensics team will be able to collect and preserve information, even deleted ones, for use as evidence. In addition, they can provide you with services in relation to information analysis, surveillance, site visits, public domain research, ground enquiries, and more.

4. Conduct Interviews

When you work with a fraud investigator, they will assist you in conducting interviews to sieve out information from suspects and employees. The investigators are trained and have a keen eye for detail. They can help you to identify any loopholes during the interviews to help you get to the root of the problem.

5. Report Findings

When investigations have concluded and you have all the information and evidence you need, reports should be drafted for reference and for use in claims. Should your company wish to pursue criminal action, the report will come in handy as well. 

Businesses may choose to keep things under wraps depending on the severity of the case. You can ask for compensation or simply fire the employees involved, or report them to the authorities. 

Adopting a proper framework before any potential commercial crimes that may happen within your company is the first step to protecting your business interests. Should you need assistance with commercial investigations, the fraud investigators at CDiC Consultants are here to help. 

Contact us today for commercial investigation services in Singapore.

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