Signs You Need To Conduct a Corporate Investigation

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Signs You Need To Conduct a Corporate Investigation

Incidents in the workplace can greatly impact a company’s reputation — especially if handled poorly. That’s why it’s so incredibly crucial to tackle any potential issues head-on at the first sign of trouble, or in most cases, the first time a complaint is made. Failure to do so can be costly, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, in both workplace theft and potential legal fees. Conducting internal investigations can help to ensure your company is operating effectively under company policies and state and federal laws, all while protecting you and your employees from unethical business practices.

Working with a private investigation firm can help your company identify potential risks, take disciplinary action, and in some cases bring about criminal charges.

While most internal corporate stakeholders are likely not trained in investigative techniques, working with a private investigation firm can help your company identify potential risks, take disciplinary action, and in some cases bring about criminal charges. Learn more about the warning signs you can watch out for in your company, and how you can take action to start the investigation process. 

What is a corporate investigation?

An internal corporate investigation is typically launched following a complaint or allegation made by one or more clients or employees. Typically, the investigation will determine whether or not an employee has broken any company policies or even laws that can cause further legal issues on behalf of the company. This will also result in corrective actions against the employee in question, and any other parties who participated in wrongdoing. There are a number of reasons why a company might choose to undergo an investigation. 

What are the signs that I need to conduct a corporate investigation?

There are a number of different activities and problems that can pose life-threatening risks to your business — some of which may lead to formal charges being filed against you and your employees, especially if an internal investigation evolves into a criminal investigation. These kinds of activities may also be revealed during the investigation after an employee report has been submitted, revealing missing physical documents or suspicious activity in your company’s computer system. 

Suspected employee theft/fraud: The Association of Employee Fraud Examiners reported that companies lost close to $1.5 million per theft per fraud case in the year 2020. Theft can range quite dramatically in the workplace — from stealing office supplies for personal use, to time theft, or even stealing large sums of money from company funds. 

Sudden departure/resignation: If a once-loyal employee resigns suddenly without warning — especially if they are leaving for a competitor — it might be an indication that an investigation is in order. This can help ensure that the former employee isn't giving away trade secrets or other proprietary information that can put your company at risk.

Misusing company credit card: Allowing employees to have company-issued credit cards can be a great convenience, but it can also open the floodgates to a number of potential risks and even hard credit checks. While this obviously doesn't grant access to company bank accounts, it does allow employees to have a direct impact on the financial health of the company. If you suspect misuse of credit cards, be sure to gather all statements and documentation to be used in an internal investigation. 

Improper access/use of personal information: Privacy is important in any organization, and security breaches should be taken extremely seriously, especially if the information is medical or financial in nature. Sensitive information held by a company should only be available to stakeholders who actually need it. If you suspect this information has been compromised, and another employee is using it for personal gain, it is vital to launch an investigation. 

How do I start conducting a corporate investigation? 

Prior to proceeding with an investigation, it’s important to identify the following factors:

An investigation will determine whether or not formal charges need to be filed, and how to take action against any theft or other allegations. Most internal corporate investigations begin with an employee complaint or report as the sole source of information. From there, you can determine who is involved in the allegations at hand, and set up interviews with each employee to start gathering as much information as possible. You may also consider distributing a questionnaire to a larger group to collect more information in an efficient manner. In most cases, you will likely need to leverage an outside source to help conduct internal investigations. 

Work with Experts 

When you suspect wrongdoing in your company, it can be incredibly overwhelming. Luckily, by working with a private investigation firm, you can guarantee your investigation will be handled with the utmost professionalism, leveraging techniques to ensure a fair and unbiased outcome for all involved. InQuest Solutions offers over 20 years of private investigation experience, servicing a number of industries. We marry modern technology and a highly skilled, diverse investigative team to support the needs of the business community, which is how we have established ourselves as a trusted partner to many Fortune 100 and 500 companies throughout the United States. InQuest offers worker’s compensation claim investigations, general liability investigations, executive and board screenings, fraud and theft investigations and more.

Contact us to submit a free new case request.

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