The First 24: What Happens During the Initial Stages of an Internal Investigation?By Mandy Moody, ACFE Social Media SpecialistYou receive the tip. You identify the suspect. You assemble a team. It's now time to act. Those first steps can be crucial when beginning an internal investigation and assessing an allegation of fraud. Fortunately, the first 24 hours can go off without a hitch with the help of a little planning and preparation.Leah Lane, CFE, Global Investigations Manager at Texas Instruments, Inc., covered these scenarios today in her four-hour Pre-Conference session, Conducting Internal Investigations: Planning and Logistics. She detailed how to respond to allegations within the first 24 hours and how to build and manage an effective fraud examination team. According to Lane, when an allegation of fraud arises, time is critical. The failure to act quickly against suspicions of fraud could result in civil litigation, enhanced penalties under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and enforcement actions by federal and state regulators. Your response to an allegation, however, will vary depending on the facts. Lane equipped attendees with 11 vital questions to answer within the first 24 hours of a fraud allegation:
Only after all of these questions are answered should a fraud examiner or investigator engage legal counsel, notify proper executives, preserve relevant documents and conduct an initial assessment. These actions will then give management the useful information it needs to make a decision on how to move forward; a decision that will be based on those first 24 hours of an investigation. Make 'em count.The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners assumes sole copyright of any article published on www.fraudconference.com or www.ACFE.com. ACFE follows a policy of exclusive publication. Permission of the publisher is required before an article can be copied or reproduced.