COMPLIANCE, INVESTIGATION AND MONITORING
Over decades, our experience in private practice as Chartered Accountants, in the financial fields of banking, real estate and corporate finance, and also in running a wide range of businesses, all come together to mean that when we are asked by our clients, we are comfortable asking the necessary questions and then diving into a company's financial accounting.
We then clearly report what we find - and also what we have not found, which can sometimes be just as interesting to our clients.
By choice, we are not a statutory audit firm; but we apply our blend of forensic accounting and practical business experience to review, monitor or investigate the subject's financial performance or accounting.
In recent years, our team members have been engaged by international clients (and/or their external lawyers) in the following example situations:
- Joint Venture investigation - compliance with a JV agreement
Our Middle Eastern client company, asked us to visit their Swiss JV entity to interview its staff and review, investigate and test the accounts and accounting. Our report to our client's Board of Directors was used in non-legal discussions between the JV partner companies, so as to arrive at a commercial, mutually satisfactory financial resolution. Lawyers were not involved in any stage of the assignment.
- Banking compliance - contractual / transactions
Our client engaged us to carry out a detailed, open ended, review of transactions in their private banks in Geneva and Zurich. Our work was carried out in the banks' premises, so as to preserve confidentiality and security of the documentation and records; and also to allow for regular interviews with key bank staff and management. Our written report and briefings face to face and by telephone ultimately resulted in meetings, attended by ourselves, in which our client's case was explained (and evidenced) in detail to the bankers. A satisfactory resolution was achieved for our client.
- Retail business - suspected employee fraud
A company asked their local fiduciaire firm to carry out a financial review in their headquarters outlet. We were brought in by the fiduciaire as specialists and we worked onsite as one team: interviewing staff; investigating systems and records; and thereafter reporting in writing and face-to-face. Several accounting system improvements were recommended.
- NGO field office - suspected employee fraud
We travelled to the country office in question, to interview staff and review records onsite. We also spent time offsite, in the field, so as to personally see evidence of the actions paid for according to the accounting records. Our written report - and our presence onsite at the field office - were well received by the NGO's compliance management team at its Head Office.
- Oil exploration - inappropriate costs charged by operator to the JV account
Our two client companies (the two non-operator partners), engaged us to work onsite at the African operations' head office to review the costs charged by the operator to the JV joint account. Our work resulted in multi-million dollar financial recovery for our clients.