In addition to forensic accounting and anti-fraud measures, corporate investigations may also involve the tracing of assets. This is often done in order to secure evidence for a potential civil or criminal case. The aim of assets tracing is to identify all of the assets that are owned by a company or individual in order to assess their value and determine any potential sources of income.
Tracing assets can be a complex process, especially if the assets are held in different countries or are hidden from view. There are a number of methods that can be used to trace assets. These
- Investigate the company’s financial records to identify any payments or transfers that may be linked to the assets.
- Conducting interviews with employees, customers, and other contacts to gather information about the company’s finances.
- Analyzing bank statements and other financial documents to identify any unusual activity.
- Tracking the movement of money through different bank accounts and financial institutions.
- Conducting searches of property and company registers to identify any assets that are owned by the company or individual.
- Using specialist software and databases to track the ownership of assets and companies.
- Consulting with experts in asset tracing and forensic accounting.
The advantages of asset tracing include:
- The possibility of identifying assets that could be used to repay secured creditors and suppliers, and therefore avoiding bankruptcy.
- The possibility of recovering assets for victims of fraud or other crimes.
- Ensuring that the company does not continue to trade while it is insolvent, which would deprive unsecured creditors of payment.