This chapter is a toolbox. While many preceding chapters have discussed investigative techniques in the context of other topics (see Chapter 13 in particular), we have not yet opened a number of trays in the toolbox. The chapter also looks at the administrative issues surrounding forensic accounting investigations, which require knowledgeable management. In any specific circumstance, some tools will be more useful than others in the effort to generate investigative results that can withstand scrutiny by the client, legal counsel, and regulatory and judicial authorities, not to mention quality and risk management reviewers in the forensic accounting investigator's own firm. All of the tools have their place and purpose. We begin with the administrative issues and then go on to specific techniques.
While audits are usually predictable in their timing and fieldwork, most investigations are not. On one hand, with few exceptions auditors know their client commitments 6 to 12 months in advance, and clients know what to expect of their auditors over the same time horizon. On the other hand, forensic accounting investigators often enough cannot anticipate their client commitments even two weeks in advance, let alone six months in advance. It is not unusual for them to receive a call on a Friday afternoon and, in response, over the weekend deploy a team to a distant location in time for the opening of business on Monday.