An investigative audit is the same as a forensic audit. In forensic auditing, accountants with specialized knowledge of both accounting and investigation seek to uncover fraud, missing money, negligence and/or malfeasance.
The Internal Audit Division (IAD) performs investigative reviews in response to allegations received by our office from internal and external sources (e.g., University management, faculty, or staff, and Office of the State Auditor). Allegations are prioritized and investigated based on an assessment of potential risk to the University.
An investigative audit is the same as a forensic audit. In forensic auditing, accountants with specialized knowledge of both accounting and investigation seek to uncover fraud, missing money, negligence and/or malfeasance. When fraud or theft is uncovered, the investigative auditor compiles evidence and is often asked to testify if the individual responsible for the theft is eventually prosecuted.
ADVANTAGES OF INVESTIGATIVE AUDIT
The advantages of bringing in a third-party firm are numerous. Investigative auditing firms employ accountants who do this work on a regular basis. As such, they know what to look for. Another advantage is impartiality. An outside investigative auditor -- who has no personal or professional relationship with your employees -- is likely to conduct the audit in an impartial manner. This is important, as these investigations can lead to criminal prosecution. Thus, relying on an internal accountant to find fraud or theft might place him in an uncomfortable situation, which can affect morale.
If you're merely interested in conducting an investigative audit for internal purposes -- such as determining whether to terminate an employee or to deter future illegal activity by employees -- using your own accountant is probably sufficient. However, if you believe you're missing a significant amount of money or if you believe your own accountant might be doing something illegal, then it's a good idea to turn to an independent investigative auditing firm.