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A Guide to Forensic Accounting Investigation, 2nd Edition by Jessica S. Pill, Mona M. Clayton, Thomas W. Golden, Steven L. Skalak

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Chapter 18

Report of Investigation

Thomas W. Golden and Ryan D. Murphy

Documenting an investigation is as important as performing it. A poorly documented case file can lead to a disappointing conclusion, can result in a dissatisfied client, and can even damage the financial accounting investigator's reputation and that of the investigator's firm. Various means by which the forensic accounting investigator may report his findings are discussed in greater detail in this chapter. The form of that report—whether oral or written—is a matter to be discussed with the client and with counsel. While it is not the responsibility of the forensic accounting investigator to advise on the legal perils associated with various forms of reporting, there are certain issues about which forensic accounting investigators should be aware as their clients debate the form of reporting that will conclude the investigator's investigation. This chapter addresses both written and oral reports of investigation.

We suggest that you discuss at the outset whether a written report is expected from you and, if so, its form and timing. In the common circumstance that this point cannot be decided at the inception of the engagement, you should conduct the investigation in a manner that will facilitate a comprehensive oral report, including the key documents and any exhibits necessary to illustrate the findings. Many investigations begin small, but there is no way to know with certainty where they will lead and what ...

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