Streamlining Investigative Jobs: Discover Cross-Referenced Results from External & Internal Sources
In the previous articles, we went through challenges in some risk-sensitive jobs at regulators, BFSI companies, and finance/procurement teams.
Financial investigation is an essential aspect of risk & compliance work for uncovering and preventing misconduct and criminal activity of a financial nature. In essence, it involves looking at the financial dealings and business relationships of individuals or organisations to see if they are directly or indirectly involved in activities including, but not limited to:
- Tax evasion
- Bribery, lobbying, or other forms of public corruption
- Money laundering
- Financing of terrorism
- Insider trading
Government bodies perform financial investigations to ensure that individuals and organisations are conducting business fairly and per rules and regulations. Companies may also carry out such investigations for various purposes, including:
- Due diligence and market research
- Resolving shareholder and partnership disputes
- Managing compliance risk
- Approving loans
Whatever the reasons are for carrying out a financial investigation, financial investigators must build up a comprehensive knowledge not just of the financial affairs of the target entity, but also the entity’s entire business network, including both past and present associations with individuals and organisations.
The Challenges Faced by Financial Investigators
More than ever before, financial investigations depend on sophisticated data analysis. To do it effectively, investigators need to overcome a number of significant challenges, namely:
- Processing and visualising large sets of data
Data can be extracted from a variety of sources, including financial statements, internal documents, social media, industry reports, email chains, and more. However, the task of organising and cleaning all of this data can place a heavy burden on an organisation’s time and human resources, especially when using traditional techniques and legacy systems. Moreover, interpreting large sets of data requires advanced visualisation capabilities.
- Gathering and processing information in a timely manner
Any delays in investigative work can cause further delay in the following process. It may also undermine an organisation’s ability to implement preventative measures or limit exposure to financial and reputational risks. This means that investigators must be able to gather all the data they need and process it quickly.
- The need for accurate data sources
Despite the wealth of internal and external data available to financial investigators, it can be difficult to find information that is accurate and up-to-date. This is a familiar problem in the field of market research, but it is perhaps an even bigger concern for investigators who may have to deal with deliberate efforts on the part of criminals to conceal the truth. There are numerous sources of data available, but determining which ones are reliable can be a major challenge.
How ScoutAsia Brings Efficiency to Financial Investigation
ScoutAsia’s premium add-on feature “Connections+” enables financial investigators to instantly generate maps showing direct and indirect, past and present connections between organisations and individuals and see if an entity has been directly or indirectly exposed to regulatory actions.
For example, a bank may use the Connections+ feature to search for corporate registry information about a new client company called “ABC Pte Ltd” and discover that there is a major shareholder or director named “Mr. Tan”. The bank can then investigate further to find out who Mr. Tan is. They can combine the corporate registry data with internal customer data to find out past traffic records with this person such as how many accounts he holds, which bank products he uses, and which relationship managers serve him. This combination of data allows the bank to build up a more holistic picture of the client and its stakeholders.
Our Technology Solutions allow investigators to combine and cross-reference data on the ScoutAsia platform with data from their records for better analysis. Furthermore, Technology Solutions offers a higher degree of customisation including custom-built dashboards, third-party software integration, and on-premise software implementation.
To find out more about how ScoutAsia can support your investigative work, don’t hesitate to contact us for more details about our solutions and case studies.