Understanding the Corporate Investigation Process

The Ultimate Guide Corporate Investigation Process

As an employer, your company may at some point face corporate malfeasances like bribery and fraud. If this happens, hiring a private investigator is the best way to uncover evidence to determine the right course of action.

So, how does a private investigator from Sig 14, Inc. undertake the corporate investigation process?

What Is a Corporate Investigation?

A corporate investigation process is an inquiry private investigators conduct for corporate clients. They are conducted to determine whether employees, the leadership team, or third parties have committed any wrongdoings.

Types of Corporate Investigations

Various forms of corporate investigations exist.

These include:

  • Undercover investigations – This inquiry type is covert. Here, a private investigator performs the corporate investigation process by blending in with employees. This method allows them to perform their job without alerting the suspect.
  • Financial investigations – This process aims to uncover finance-related crimes like embezzlement and fraud.
  • Research investigations – In this inquiry, private investigators examine third-party business partners. They may also carry out background checks on your company staff in some cases.
  • Electronic investigations – Electronic information is reviewed to determine whether evidence of a workplace crime.

Understanding the Corporate Investigation Process

A corporate investigation helps uncover potential misconduct. Also, it serves as a proactive measure. This protects the company before an issue balloons into a situation that causes irreversible damage.

Here are the standard steps involved in a corporate investigation process.

Step 1: Pre-investigation

The first step involves determining whether the investigative process is necessary. Usually, an internal HR officer handles these workplace matters. If this fails, the inquiry should begin immediately.

Next, you’ll also need to put out “terms of reference.” This document will outline the subject matter. It will also outline the scope of the inquiry, what you expect the workplace investigator to present, and the point of contact.

That said, you must also identify whether to conduct an internal or external investigation at this stage. Companies appoint someone from the human resources department to undertake the internal investigations.

Hiring a private detective is the most sensible option. This investigator has the required skills and knowledge to conduct the corporate investigation process. Moreover, they have no conflicting interests and will remain objective.

Step 2: Preparations

The private investigator draws up a plan. Important aspects include a witness list, timeframe, and evidence sources. This person will also inform those involved in the investigation about the inquiry. The only exception is if there’s a risk that these people may meddle with the evidence.

Suspension is rare during the investigation. It’s something to consider to protect the inquiry. You must also determine your source of evidence. Remember, every process is different. There’s no standard list. Even so, many corporate investigations include the following physical sources:

  • Phone records
  • Emails
  • Video footage
  • Witness statements

Private investigators must make certain they only examine relevant information while ensuring they obey data protection laws.

Step 3: Research

Performing background checks and internet research on the investigation subjects is an excellent way to build rapport. This information may prove helpful during the interview process. For instance, if the investigator found out that a particular employee loved a specific sport, mentioning a notable player could make the subject more comfortable.

Step 4: Conduct investigation interviews

This step is critical when conducting workplace investigations. It’s best practice to meet each subject separately. Here the investigator takes notes when interviewing witnesses. They may also decide to record the process for reference. For some, videos are a great alternative to note taking as it allows for a natural conversation with the witnesses.

The investigator also interviews the accused about the allegations. Any new information they mention, including witnesses, will undergo review.

Step 5: Evidence gathering

This stage is the most time-consuming. The investigator will collect electronic and physical evidence. the will then authenticate it, and store it. Good investigators always follow the chain of custody to safeguard the integrity of the evidence.

Step 6: Reach a conclusion

It’s the investigator’s job to conclude the matter based on all the information collected. If it’s an inconclusive finding, the investigator must collect more evidence and interview more subjects. The results could lead to the following:

  • Disciplinary action
  • Criminal action
  • Suspension
  • Termination
  • Counseling

Step 7: Submitting an investigation report

An investigation report must serve as a reference. It must be detailed, documenting every step, decision, and individual involved in the investigation. This report will be valuable if there’s legal action. It provides the government agency with a clear sense of the entire investigation process.

Do you suspect corporate wrongdoing in your company? A private detective can help you get to the bottom of it and determine whether your suspicions are true or not. Sig 14, Inc. has years of experience as a private detective in Tampa Bay.

Our investigator has experience conducting different corporate investigations. Protect your business by calling us at (813) 261-1192 today to schedule a free consultation.