Top 10 consulting firms for fraud, forensic and investigation services

19 November 2018

A new study by a research agency has identified the globe’s ten best consulting firms for forensics and investigations. The list of top consultancies includes both generalists that have a leading investigations practice, as well as specialists that focus exclusivelyon topics such as corruption, bribery, fraud and other threats. 

Across the globe, organisations of all sizes are being faced with the darker sides of business, having to deal with among others corruption, fraud, financial mismanagement and digital threats. When confronted with allegedly illicit activity, organisations turn to subject matter experts to help them conduct a proper investigation, enabling them to act swiftly and decisively in order to minimise disruption to reputation and enterprise value, while allowing them to put more structural things in place to better protect assets. 

In executing such investigations, senior management, legal counsel or government officials tap the services of external professional services providers – law firms, consulting firms with expertise in forensics and investigations, and IT firms that master the digital side of forensics. When it comes to hiring the services of consultants, according to Global Investigations Review, a platform dedicated to the world's investigations scene, consultancy buyers eyeing a global partner should look no further than ten consulting firms that lead the way in service and customer excellence. Based on extensive research, the researchers pinpointed 10 consulting firms deemed most capable of successfully handling sophisticated cross-border government-led and internal corporate investigations. 

Consultants help distressed clients unravel complex financial, bribery, fraud schemes and digital theft, by conducting internal investigations and reviews, forensic evidence analysis, reconstruction of books and records, and witness interviews, among others. Following the analysis phase, consulting firms communicate and engage with relevant company stakeholders and authorities such as other federal and state agencies – in the case of the US market, including the likes of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and the Department of Defense (DOD).

Top 10 consulting firms for fraud, forensic and investigation services

Together with representatives of client organisations and other stakeholders (e.g. legal counsel, external lawyers, government officials), appropriate resolutions are put forward in review disclosures and reports, while corrective actions including risk mitigation and compliance are embedded into processes. In today’s rapidly digitising world, data analysis is becoming an increasingly important aspect of fraud, forensic and investigation services, with the ability to understand and analyse large amounts of data, deconstruct systems and identify anomalous activity essential to resolution.

Top consulting firms

The ten leading consulting firms in the landscape include three players that are dominant in the accounting and consulting space – BDOGrant Thornton and PwC are all among the globe’s ten largest players in revenue in the industry. AlixPartners (1,600 employees), Berkeley Research Group (1,200 employees), Charles River Associates (1,000 employees) and FTI Consulting (4,500 employees) all are larger management consulting groups that also have a deep heritage in fraud, forensics and investigations.

K2 Intelligence has around 250 employees specialised in investigative, compliance, and cyber defense services. The US-headquartered firm, founded in 2009, has five offices: in New York, Los Angeles, London, Madrid and Tel Aviv. Nardello & Co. is an expert firm that handles a broad range of issues including the FCPA/UK Bribery Act and other corruption-related investigations, civil and white collar criminal litigation support, asset tracing, risk assessment, computer forensics and reputational due diligence. The company has offices in New York, London, Washington DC, Atlanta, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Milan and Dubai. London-headquartered Forensic Risk Alliance (FRA) supports clients with financial investigations, regulatory compliance and data analytics. International offices are located in Europe (Paris, Helsinki and Zürich) and the United States (New York, Philadelphia, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington DC).

All ten consulting firms are assessed by the researchers to have both a broad and deep client offering, spanning the fields of Anti-Corruption, Compliance & Ethics, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, Data Governance and Compliance, eDiscovery, Forensic Accounting, Financial Investigations, Trade Agreements and Independent Oversight.

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