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The Importance of Outsourcing Your Corporate Investigations

The Importance of Outsourcing Your Corporate Investigations

Many people when they hear about corporate investigation usually associate it with some corporate scandals that have hit the corporate world. However, corporate fraud, misconduct, and even abuse take several forms and can apply to all companies regardless of their size or shape. For small businesses and some large companies alike, a corporate investigation is usually a necessity when it comes to outside threats or in-house misconduct.

Keep in mind that investigative services are not there just to catch unfaithful spouses, they also come in handy in a wide range of corporate settings. From due diligence to fraud investigations, there are many reasons why your business can need corporate investigative services. This article explains the importance of outsourcing corporate investigations.

Why It’s Important to Outsource Corporate Investigations

If something underhanded and improper is happening in your company, it means you are already too close to the issue to adequately and objectively investigate it. Your insider knowledge of the company can be important to an investigator, though your intelligence and awareness concerning the potential crime being committed is the point where your involvement in the investigation needs to end

A professional investigator’s role is to determine exactly what is happening from the information you offer, gather more evidence, and deliver the information you require for firing, a lawsuit, or other move. It is the job of the corporate investigator to do the dirty work on your behalf so that you can focus on the other important tasks. Even though there is something illegal or inappropriate happening in your company, there are still other daily operations you need to manage and maintain.

With threats coming from inside and outside, every company risks falling victim to deceit or fraud. Therefore, how your company responds can have a huge impact on managing the potential damages and decrease future risks for your company, employees, and customers. That said,corporate investigations usually take these forms.

Employee Misconduct

The behavior that falls under employee misconduct usually varies and overlaps. However, the general behavior that most companies may hire a private corporate investigator to investigate can include harassment, bullying, substance abuse, payroll abuse, and insubordination.

All these forms of behavior need careful monitoring, detailing, and complete impartiality. Discretion, tact, and subtlety can also be offered by an experienced investigator. Companies need to go on even when there is an employee misconduct, so hiring a corporate investigator can make this possible.

Employee Time Theft

Smartphones and computers tend to distract some employees while working. An employee may be sitting at their desk, seemingly working when the truth is that they are browsing the web, writing emails, or even checking social media.

The biggest time theft perhaps happens among employees working outside their offices. For example, telecommuting employees are hard to monitor and those who travel as part of the job or even those who may be in and out of the workplaces for business have lots of time that is unsupervised.

It can be hard to prove that there is employee time theft, which includes working on unrelated tasks while out of the workplace or sleeping while they were supposed to be working. This is especially true when you are busy running the company, but if you suspect that there is someone abusing the system, then a corporate investigator can find out exactly what’s happening.

Asset Misuse

Employee asset misuse can take many different forms, such as use of the company money for personal expenses, accepting gratuities from customers in exchange for special services or treatment, using the company’s car for recreation, using the company’s premises as well as the equipment to do competing business transactions.

There is a need for total trust in a company so that every employee does their work they were hired to perform. And, for a company to do well, it’s always a good idea to prevent asset misuse. Unfortunately, asset misuse can occur with contractors or direct employees or even people you trust the most. So you need a corporate investigator to monitor and collect evidence required to prove that there is a level of employee misconduct.

Non-Competition Enforcement

Non-compete agreements are now increasingly common in most industries. However, some employees tend to work and create their competing businesses while employed. They sometimes make deals to get into competing companies and take your intellectual property or customers.

Non-compete agreements can be enforceable and valid, but you need to have evidence of the violation.

Remember that you need to hire an investigator before the alleged employee knows that there will be an investigation. In this way, you can prevent the proprietary information, trade secrets, and many more from being put at risk.

Workplace Incident Investigations

Anytime there is an accident or even a near miss incident at the workplace, it is important to find out the cause of the incident. This needs to happen regardless of whether or not there was an injury or not. This can give you peace of mind but you also need to follow the safety requirements under OSHA.

The best way is to have an unbiased workplace investigation done by a private corporate investigator. This must happen immediately after the accident so that the details gathered can be clear and accurate.

It is the duty of the corporate investigator to discover inconsistencies and truths about the accident. They can also compile the relevant documentation that can help you pursue legal action or defend the workplace.

As you can see, there are several benefits to hiring a corporate investigator. But before you hire a corporate investigator, it’s a good idea to find if the investigator has handled similar investigations. In short, the corporate investigator needs to have the relevant experience so that the outcome of the investigation can be credible.

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by Dirk DeBie // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.