What is a Corporate Investigation?

    Corporate investigations thoroughly investigate business operations, which is why these types of cases are also called business investigations. A corporate investigation generally tries to find out whether a business partner is legitimate, whether a potential business merger makes sense, or whether fraud or embezzlement is going on. While these are the most common types of company investigations, though, these cases can cover a wide range of topics, from intellectual property to criminal inquiries to financial searches. It is all up to you and your business needs.

    Why do I Need a Business Investigation?

    PricewaterhouseCoopers 2016 Global Economic Crime Survey, indicates that when it comes to committing economic crimes… South Africa is ahead of the curve.

    The latest edition of the biennial Global Economic Crime Survey showed the level at which this form of crime currently occurs within the country’s borders, is nearly double that of our international counterparts – both within the continent and outside of it.

    Globally, 6,337 participants in 115 countries were interviewed for the analysis – 232 of which were South African-based, senior-level management from varying industry sectors.

    More than one-third (36%) of organizations have experienced economic crime in the past 24 months, and PwC says the situation has reached a “pandemic level” within the country.

    According to LexisNexis South Africa, company detection methods were not keeping pace with the advances in economic crime.

    “The PwC survey showed that almost half the incidents of serious economic crimes were perpetrated by internal parties and that regulatory compliance is often an added source of stress and burden to companies,” said Rudi Kruger, LexisNexis’ GRC division GM said.

    In fact, the financial cost of each fraud is on the rise. Globally asset misappropriation was the most pervasive form of economic crime, at 64%, followed by cybercrime which jumped from 24% in the 2014 survey to 32% in the 2016 report.

    Bribery and corruption were slightly down from 27% to 24% globally, procurement fraud was at 23%, human resource fraud at 12%, and money laundering at 11%.

    In today's world, information is often the difference between business success and failure. Company investigations give you the tools and information you need to make sure that your company is successful. For example, employee background checks and company checks can let you know whether business partners and workers are trustworthy. Due diligence investigations can ensure that your company is not heading for a lawsuit. Corporate monitoring operations such as internet monitoring, media monitoring, brand monitoring, and compliance audits can help ensure that your business continues to prosper. Intellectual property investigations and investigations of other companies help keep your competition in line and ensure that others aren't taking advantage of your company. Business investigations can help identify wrongdoing within your organization so you can resolve it before a catastrophe.

    Even for those who do not run companies, business checks and business investigations are crucial. We all rely on companies to keep our information and provide us with goods and services. A business investigation can ensure that the companies you entrust with your business are safe and effective. In some cases, corporate investigations can help you get the damages or compensation you are entitled to.

    Why Should I Get a Private Investigator for a Business Investigation?

    If you run your own business, the more information you have about your brand, your competition, and the marketplace, the more likely you are to succeed. In fact, most large corporations either have investigators on retainer or have internal corporate investigators on hand to get them the information they need to succeed. Doesn't your own business deserve this same edge in the market? Also, safeguard yourself and stay on top of any internal theft, fraud, security penetration, or sexual harassment issues.

    With so much corporate information on the internet, you may think that you can do your own research into business operations. This is not true. Many businesses today are very complex entities, consisting of departments and sub-departments as well as overseas offices. Plus, today even many small companies hire professional PR firms that carefully monitor what information about a company is publicly available. An experienced private investigator can find the truth and the hidden data that companies may not be willing to share. Plus, experienced business investigators have knowledge of corporate law that lets them legally gather evidence so that it is admissible in court.

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