Folder with close up on the word claims and a note where it is written under investigation The value of a fraud investigator has never been clearer. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, it is estimated that nearly 75 percent of employees steal from the workplace. Other recent statistics are just as shocking: According to the Department of Justice, a typical organization loses about 5 percent of its annual revenue due to employee fraud, and litigation resulting from employee misconduct costs employers in the U.S. billions of dollars each year. This must be alarming but ever thought of what is a corporate investigator? Fraud investigators are also referred to as financial investigators or corporate investigators that expertly examine and scrutinize business operations and allegations of credit card and insurance fraud cases to determine whether individuals or organizations have attempted deception such as embezzlement and misconduct for financial benefit. These types of investigations vary majorly depending on the industry and field as they work for various industries such as criminal justice, financial institutions, insurance companies, private investigation firms, government agencies, and other organizations. In addition to internal theft and fraud, fraud investigators are often called upon to do everything from performing due diligence investigations on shareholders and business partners to investigating outside companies to determine whether mergers and acquisitions make financial sense. From investigating cases of intellectual property theft to performing criminal inquiries and background investigations on new hires, fraud investigator jobs remain incredibly relevant in today’s complex business environment. Fraud investigators may perform standard corporate monitoring services, such as Internet monitoring, media monitoring, and brand monitoring, and they often perform compliance audits to ensure operations, practices, costs, and procedures are being followed at all business locations and sites. These professionals often investigate businesses that work for or alongside a company to ensure they are conducting proper business practices and are representing the company safely and effectively. The work performed by fraud investigators may be able to help companies save money; avoid financial disaster; collect evidence to prosecute and/or receive financial compensation, and hire and retain an outstanding management team and workforce.

Fraud Investigators Entering the Corporate World

Fraud investigators are becoming quite commonplace among businesses and organizations seeking to protect their brand, keep an eye on their competition, and maintain current information on their position in the marketplace. Many larger corporations and organizations have internal corporate investigators, while others keep them on retainer. It is common for corporate investigators to travel to a corporation’s business operations across the country and before the globe. Corporate investigators within an organization or business may be called upon to curtail internal theft and fraud, deal with sexual harassment issues, or keep a close eye on overseas operations. Many companies turn to corporate investigators to perform this work, as these professionals have the knowledge and skills to expertly and legally uncover and gather the information that may be admissible in court, if necessary. Fraud investigators serve to protect businesses from financial losses through:

  • Due diligence
  • Corporate profiling
  • Corporate and business analysis
  • Asset tracing
  • Record research investigation
  • Employee integrity
  • Pre-employment screening
  • Counter surveillance
  • Security risk analysis
  • Intellectual property infringement

They are also responsible for finding and recovering evidence when dealing with issues such as:

  • Fraud
  • Breach of contract
  • Wrongful termination
  • Data theft
  • Data misappropriation
  • Sexual harassment
  • Embezzlement
  • Trade secret misappropriation

Education and Training for Corporate Fraud Investigators

Although there is no single educational path to becoming a corporate investigator, the majority of employers require these professionals to possess, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree in a business-related field. Many fraud investigators also possess graduate degrees in business administration, accounting, fraud investigation, finance, and communications. It is also common for accountants to pursue careers as corporate investigators, let’s look into fraud investigator education in detail Regardless of the college or university degree, fraud investigators must have some type of formal training in the areas of management structure, business practices, and finance, costs to best understand corporate structures and operations. Fraud investigators, in general, must be licensed in the state in which they practice. Licensing requirements, although they vary from one state to the next, include minimum education and experience, and many states require these professionals to pass a written examination and pass a background check prior to being licensed.

Salary and Employment Statistics for Corporate Investigators*

According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and Grant Thornton, around 51% of anti-fraud professionals surveyed stated that they have uncovered higher levels of fraud since the pandemic began, with almost around 20% saying that the increase in fraudulent practices was significant. While anyone would be optimistic in believing that the fraud levels will decrease ever since the outbreak of the pandemic or by the time corporations and offices reopen, around 71% expect the level of fraud affecting their employers to continue to increase over 2022. It is now that organizations have started to cut travel budgets due to restrictions and safety guidelines during the pandemic with about 39% of anti-professionals saying that their travel budgets had decreased in 2021 and 21% expecting a decrease for 2022 as well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that around May 2020, BLS indicated median salaries for fraud investigators that earned $53,320 per year making around $25.64 per hour. The median annual wage for occupations of claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators falling under the ambit of fraud investigators was $68,270 in May 2020. However, the median annual wage for insurance appraisers was around $65,550 in May 2020. *May 2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics Salary and Job Market Figures for Private Detectives and Investigators reflect state data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed September 2021. Back to Top A corporate investigator is an actor in a corporate environment hired to identify suspicious behaviour, fraudulent activity, and instances of misconduct. While a private investigator specializes in personal affairs, a corporate investigator is an expert in how corporations are designed to function and is skilled at identifying where there are discrepancies. Here is some information to know about what a corporate investigator is:

1. Why A Corporate Investigator is Needed

It is estimated that as many as three out of every four employees steel from their workplace. The prevalence of these crimes is why a corporate investigator should be essential a corporate investigation. The average corporation will lose five percent of their annual revenues strictly from fraud and subsequent litigation. Billions of dollars are spent every year on fraud. A private investigator Toronto is there to eliminate and curtail fraud, embezzlement, and misconduct, and they can do so effectively and quickly.

2. List of Things A Corporate Investigator Can Help With

In finding and recovering evidence for a wide variety of corporate issues, common ways a corporate investigator can be used are not only with fraud but also breach of contract, data theft, data misappropriation, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, embezzlement, and trade secret misappropriation.

3. How to Use An Investigator to Protect Against Fraud

A corporate investigator protects a corporation from fraud through corporate profiling, participating in due diligence, corporate business analysis, intellectual property infringement investigation, and completing asset tracing. A corporate investigator also helps with conducting security risk analysis, completing record research investigations, evaluating employee integrity, doing counter-surveillance, and handling pre-employment screening.

4. Benefits of a Corporate Investigator

What you can expect to receive with a corporate investigation is evidence, either of a crime or the lack thereof. The work from corporate investigations has been directly tied with financial savings, and survivability of an organization following fraud. In addition, other benefits may include the ability to prosecute, and the retainment of a team, workforce, or management stakeholder.

5. The Legality of a Corporate Investigator

Corporate investigators aren’t doing anything illegal. They use legal means of uncovering and gathering information that may be admissible in court. A corporate investigator is an expert at what they do. To this point, there are specialties in the investigator world. Some may be skilled analyzing sexual harassment issues while others may have built their reputations off evaluating overseas operations. There are, of course, many investigators with multiple specialties and a better-rounded skillset.

6. A Reactive v. Proactive Approach to Investigations

A corporate investigator can be hired either reactively or as a proactive measure. These investigations are carried out in the aftermath of a crime being committed or to conclude definitively whether a crime has been committed and if criminal proceedings are a possibility.

7. What the Parameters of Corporate Investigations Are

The exact details of what a corporate investigation should entail varies contract by contract. There are standard corporate monitoring services, i.e. monitoring Internet use. There’s also auditing services ensuring operations and procedures fit to a defined expectation. One might evaluate the competition or the marketplace. They can be hired for a specific time frame or kept on retainer. An investigator may also be sent to multiple locations for the purposes of an investigation.

8. Corporate Investigators Aren’t Just for Internal Operations

Though we inherently associate corporate investigations with internal theft and fraud, investigations can be launched in response to anything from due diligence on shareholders or business partners to evaluating a company for a potential merger and/or acquisition. These investigations are being increasingly relied upon to provide actionable data to stakeholders in-charge.

9. Letting Employees Know About A Corporate Investigation

It is not appropriate or advisable to provide employees with specifics regarding a corporate investigation, however, it is alright to share the information that one is being conducted. Particularly if interviews need to be had or there is ongoing private monitoring happening, employees can be made aware. That said, depending on the jurisdiction, in some cases an employee is not legally required to know that they are being investigated. Therefore, it is up to the employer to decide how to handle the subject.

10. The Educational Background of A Corporate Investigator

There is no single path to becoming a corporate investigator. At least a Bachelor’s Degree in a business or accounting field is preferred. Most investigators in corporate settings began as accountants. If an investigator has no formal training in any sort of fraud-related capacity, it doesn’t mean they aren’t worth hiring. An investigator builds their reputation off experience, knowledge of corporate structure, and business practices.

11. What it Takes to Make A Good Corporate Investigator

A corporate investigator is always updating their knowledge and upgrading their skillset. Corporate structures never change, however, aspects of operations do. Particularly with cyber-criminal activity, digital copyright infringement, and cyber security, these aspects of running a corporation have changed tremendously over the past decade – even in the last few years! Investigations have to accommodate these changes and know where and what to look for.

12. How to Hire A Corporate Investigator

If you are interested in hiring a corporate investigator, how to hire is based off resume and experience. A recent study analyzing the market suggests that the number of corporate investigators in North America has nearly doubled since a decade ago. There are a lot of newcomers in the field and to this point, experience matters and results count. Before learning how to become an investigator, it’s vital to recognize what this phrase means. Corporate investigators are specialists who conduct investigations into civil and criminal claims involving a firm or organization. Triumph AU investigators conduct a variety of investigations for their firm or organization. Each day, investigator courses are growing more and more prominent. There are various universities and institutes that offer the greatest training to those who are interested. You can also select from a variety of online courses offered in various locations, which are suitable for individuals with prior experience in this sector. Corporate Investigators

The Main Job

Corporate investigators look into a variety of allegations, including criminal scams, account irregularities, cybercrime, information breaches, embezzlement, and a variety of other activities. They are qualified to conduct internal and external investigations on behalf of the company. Internal investigations include tasks such as checking for abused expenditure accounts drug consumption on corporate assets and a variety of other things. Checking criminal actions outside the organization, such as fake billing from suppliers or vendors, is one of the external investigative activities. In each of these situations, the corporate investigation develops a sound plan, analyses the facts, interviews witnesses, and collects precise evidence. All of these inquiries can take a long time to complete at times. All of this expertise and information might be beneficial to those who choose to pursue a career as a professional investigator.

Corporate Investigation

To become a Professional Investigator, you must first complete a training program

To be qualified for the corporate investigation, the applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree in the field of commerce. There are various education organizations where one can obtain training, but these schools or institutes are more advantageous to experienced individuals. Although some corporate investigators with a Master in Administration operate in organizations, it is suggested that one pass the CPA, Certified Public Accountants, exam. Graduates with this credential have greater job opportunities and have the potential to advance in their careers. A corporate investigator’s license is also important for getting a better career. To obtain certification, one must pass both the written exam and the interview. This is a must if you want to work as a corporate investigator. How to Become a Corporate Investigators Students with a strong interest in this field can enroll in professional training or an internship to gain practical experience. There are a number of agencies or organizations that provide professional training and experience in this subject. Candidates with a strong interest in this field should enroll in one of the many online or offline courses offered. Interested candidates should be familiar with a wide range of business practices and investigation methods. Ambition, self-confidence, tenacity, critical thinking, patience, and a positive output are just a few of the qualities required to succeed in this field. Online courses are also available, which are designed specifically for the advantage of students. Many universities offer online courses to their interested students. Conclusion:- To resolve situations of corporate crime and wrongdoing, corporate investigators use detective expertise and a thorough understanding of business policies and structure. This job can offer intriguing and fulfilling work without the risks associated with other sorts of investigative work for the proper candidate.

What does a corporate investigator do?

Corporate investigators investigate a variety of allegations such civil and criminal fraud, embezzlement, irregularities in accounting, information leaks, electronic crime, and many other activities. They carry out internal and external investigations for companies and organizations. Internal investigations involve the investigation of activities that take place inside the corporation such as abused expense accounts or drug use in the workplace. External investigations examine criminal activity from outside the organization such as fraudulent billing from vendors or suppliers. In all cases, corporate investigators develop a strategy for investigation, analyze facts, obtain substantial evidence, locate and interview witnesses, and identify and interview the culprits. Many investigators spend large amounts of time posing as employees to complete their investigations.

What kind of training does a corporate investigator need?

Corporate investigators typically need at least a bachelor degree in a business related field. Many employers prefer candidates with previous work experience in the investigative field. Some corporate investigators have a master degree in business administration or are Certified Public Accountants. Prospective corporate investigators typically complete courses in political science, business administration, accounting, finance, criminal justice, and communications. Many employers provide on the job training where new corporate investigators follow experienced investigators. Large companies typically provide formal training on management structure, business practices, and many other topics related to finance. Most states require corporate investigators to be licensed. Licensing requirements vary, but typically include minimum education and experience, passing a background check, and passing a written examination.

What are the prospects for a career as a corporate investigator?

Employment of corporate investigators is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 22% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increased need for corporate investigation services will drive job growth. Job prospects are expected to be good with strong competition. Corporate investigators with advanced training and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities.

How much do corporate investigators make?

As of December 2009, the average annual salary for corporate investigators is $83,000; average annual corporate investigator salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2). A career as a corporate investigator is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in corporate investigation and performing a variety of investigative tasks for companies and organizations. Corporate investigators must have a solid understanding of business practices and investigative procedures and be able to merge them to lead successful investigations. Patience, determination, persistence, self-confidence, critical thinking, and good problem solving skills are essential. Corporate investigators must be discreet and have the ability to obtain useful information. They must be trustworthy and have excellent communication to interact with a variety of people.

What Is the Job Description of a Corporate Investigator?

A corporate investigator uses detective skills to conduct investigations into company policy, structure, and its employees. They are hired to run pre-screenings of new employees and used for clearing up harassment complaints, drug use, and illegal activities such as corporate fraud, copyright infringement, and cyber-criminal activity. In this career, you also research issues like liabilities, security issues, and unfair trade practices when clients are deciding on partnerships and mergers. While you primarily work for corporations, you may also work for individuals. Businesses that offer corporate investigation services specialize in a variety of niches such as credit, criminal history, and background checks. Financial companies often request an investigation into insurance problems, SEC filing history. If you choose this niche, a CPA certification is preferred.

How Can I Become a Corporate Investigator

To become a corporate investigator, you should have a solid understanding of business protocol and hiring procedures. It’s ideal to specialize in an industry to develop your skills further. A bachelor’s degree is preferred in some cases, as well as related work experience. When you’re starting out, look for internships that provide real-world exposure and background screening. Training in computers and topics such as business administration, accounting, auditing, and criminal justice are also helpful. Most states require licensing, and some of them require a certain amount of experience in the field. You also need to pass state and federal background checks and have liability insurance.

Are Corporate Investigator Jobs in Demand?

With the rise of private security firms and the sale of confidential information, corporate investigator jobs are in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the private detective and investigator field is expected to increase by 11% by 2026, which is faster than average. The demand is stemming from security concerns and the protection of confidential information. With current events and computer hackers becoming more creative, the need for security solutions in the market should continue to grow. However, you should expect a high level of competition for available jobs.

What Qualities Make a Good Corporate Investigator?

Qualities needed to make a good corporate investigator start with high levels of patience and determination, as some jobs are difficult and last for long periods of time. Technical skills to analyze various computer and accounting records are also necessary. Communication and people skills are crucial for interviewing employees and assessing their reactions. Staying updated on new business technology and regulations is required to remain effective and do your job correctly, especially for those who utilize computer forensics. Resourcefulness and quick decision making is useful, as available leads can be limited in time-sensitive situations. The heads of corporate investigation firms often have a background in Special Forces or as spies. Corporate investigators are responsible for investigating a wide range of issues related to the operations of their company. They may be tasked with looking into potential theft, fraud, or other illegal activity that could impact the bottom line of their employer. Corporate investigators commonly work on teams with other investigators and analysts who provide support in areas such as research, evidence collection, and data analysis.

Corporate Investigator Job Duties

Corporate investigators have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Conducting background checks on employees who have been hired to work for the company
  • Gathering information about the company’s competitors or potential business partners
  • Working within legal guidelines when gathering information about individuals or investigating crimes
  • Interviewing individuals who may be able to provide information about a case being investigated
  • Conducting surveillance operations on individuals or businesses to gather evidence of wrongdoing
  • Gather information related to legal proceedings such as lawsuits, divorces, bankruptcies, or criminal trials
  • Reviewing records such as financial statements, medical files, emails, or other documents to gather information about a case
  • Interviewing witnesses or individuals involved in an incident to obtain further details about the incident
  • Conducting background checks of individuals working for companies that have been hired to conduct security checks

Corporate Investigator Salary & Outlook

Corporate investigator salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of work they do.

  • Median Annual Salary: $67,500 ($32.45/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $115,000 ($55.29/hour)

The employment of corporate investigators is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade. Demand for corporate investigators will stem from the need to detect and deter white-collar crime, such as fraud and embezzlement. In addition, demand will come from the need to investigate allegations of sexual harassment and other types of misconduct in the workplace.

Corporate Investigator Job Requirements

Corporate investigators typically have the following qualifications: Education: Most corporate investigators hold a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, business administration, psychology or another closely related field. Some employers may hire candidates who have a high school diploma and relevant work experience. Training & Experience: Many companies will provide on-the-job training for new corporate investigators. This training will help the corporate investigator learn the specific processes and procedures of the company. The training may include instruction on the company’s computer systems, software and databases. The training may also include instruction on the company’s policies and procedures. Corporate investigators can also receive training through internships. During an internship, the corporate investigator will learn the basics of the industry and the skills necessary to work in the field. They may also receive instruction on the company’s specific policies and procedures. Certifications & Licenses: Certifications allow you to prove your skills and qualifications to current and potential employers. Corporations often have their own certifications that a corporate investigator should have. Even if they don’t, there are other certifications available to corporate investigators.

Corporate Investigator Skills

Corporate investigators need the following skills in order to be successful: Technical skills: Technical skills are the ability to use software, hardware and other tools to complete a task. This can include computer programs, software and other technology. Having strong technical skills can help you be more efficient in your work and complete tasks more quickly. Communication skills: Communication skills are the ability to convey information to others. This is an important skill for corporate investigators because they often need to explain their findings to others. They may also need to explain complex information to people who aren’t familiar with the subject. Research skills: Research skills are the ability to find information and data. This can include searching through databases, online resources and other sources to find the information you need. It’s important to be able to find the information you need in a timely manner. This can help you complete assignments and tasks efficiently. Observation skills: Observation skills are the ability to notice small details and changes in behavior. This can help you identify if someone is being truthful or hiding information. You can use observation skills in the workplace to notice if someone is taking more than they are giving or if someone is trying to hide information. Analytical skills: Analytical skills are the ability to process information and draw conclusions from it. This is a very important skill for corporate investigators to have as it allows them to draw conclusions from the information they gather during an investigation.

Corporate Investigator Work Environment

Corporate investigators typically work regular business hours, although they may be required to work evenings or weekends to conduct surveillance or interviews, or to attend meetings or court hearings. They may also travel to different locations, both domestically and internationally, to conduct investigations or to meet with clients or witnesses. The work can be stressful, and investigators must be able to handle high-pressure situations and maintain their composure in the face of potential danger. They must also have the physical stamina to conduct surveillance for long periods of time and to handle the mental and emotional stress of the job.

Corporate Investigator Trends

Here are three trends influencing how corporate investigators work. Corporate investigators will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace. The Growth of Digital Investigations The growth of digital investigations is a trend that is quickly changing the investigative landscape. As more and more data is stored in the cloud, investigators are turning to digital tools to help them find evidence that is hidden within the vastness of the internet. Corporate investigators can take advantage of this trend by becoming familiar with these tools and learning how to use them effectively. This will allow them to find evidence that would otherwise be impossible to find. More Focus on Cybersecurity As businesses become more reliant on technology, the need for cybersecurity professionals will continue to grow. Corporate investigators who are able to identify and mitigate cyber threats will be in high demand in the years to come. By focusing on cybersecurity, corporate investigators can set themselves apart from their peers and ensure that their clients’ data is safe from hackers and other online criminals. In addition, they can also develop skills in other areas, such as risk management and compliance. Greater Use of Outsourced Investigations The use of outsourced investigations is on the rise as companies look for ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency. This trend is likely to continue as more and more businesses realize the benefits of using outside investigators. As a corporate investigator, you can capitalize on this trend by developing your own consulting business or by becoming an independent contractor. You can also focus on developing relationships with potential clients and marketing yourself as an expert in your field.

How to Become a Corporate Investigator

A corporate investigator career can be very rewarding, but it’s important to consider all the factors that will influence your success. One of the most important things is to choose a company that offers the right opportunities for growth and development. You should also make sure that you have the necessary skills and experience to do the job effectively. It’s also important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the field. This can be done by reading industry publications, attending training courses, and networking with other professionals. Related: How to Write a Corporate Investigator Resume

Advancement Prospects

Corporate investigators typically advance in one of two ways: either by taking on more responsibility within their current organization or by starting their own investigative firm. As investigators gain experience, they may be given more complex or sensitive cases to work on. Those who demonstrate exceptional skills may eventually be promoted to a supervisory or managerial position. Some investigators may choose to start their own firms in order to have more control over their work and their income.

Corporate Investigator Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are committed to the highest ethical standards in all that we do. We are looking for an experienced corporate investigator to join our team and help us maintain our reputation for integrity. The ideal candidate will have experience conducting investigations into allegations of fraud, corruption, and other misconduct. He or she will be skilled in gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and writing reports. The successful candidate will be able to work independently and exercise sound judgment in sensitive and confidential matters. Duties & Responsibilities

  • Investigate potential or actual instances of fraud, waste, abuse, corruption, or other unethical or illegal activity within the company
  • Conduct interviews with employees, customers, and other individuals to gather information and evidence
  • Review documents, records, emails, and other data to identify patterns of behavior or irregularities
  • Analyze data to develop leads and investigative hypotheses
  • Prepare detailed reports summarizing findings and recommending further action
  • Present findings to senior management, law enforcement, or other appropriate parties
  • Cooperate with law enforcement agencies in the prosecution of criminal cases
  • Maintain confidentiality and safeguard sensitive information
  • Adhere to all applicable laws, regulations, and company policies
  • Keep abreast of new developments in the field of corporate investigations
  • Use computer-aided research tools to support investigations
  • Train junior investigators on proper techniques and procedures

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, criminology, or related field
  • Minimum 5 years professional experience as a corporate investigator or similar role
  • Proven track record of conducting successful investigations
  • Exceptional research, writing, and analytical skills
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office and various investigative software programs

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in criminal justice, criminology, or related field
  • 7+ years professional experience as a corporate investigator or similar role
  • Experience working for a major corporation or law firm
  • Fluency in more than one language
  • Certification as a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)

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