Starting Out

How to write 'right'

Report writing is a critical fraud examiner skill

Writing skills are essential in this profession. The most successful fraud examiners, investigators, attorneys and business people are those who can write clearly, articulately and persuasively using facts they've uncovered in the course of the fraud examination. In this column, we discuss some of the key practical aspects that help new Certified Fraud Examiners as they write fraud examination reports.

Organization and planning

One of the most overlooked aspects of successful report writing is outlining the report before you even begin the case. Most new CFEs think that report writing is the final step in the fraud examination, but you should start it as soon as you receive the assignment to guide you and save you time and worry at the end.

During the case-planning process, you'll work to identify the allegations, scope the case and review the elements of the fraud. A report should be S-M-A-R-T: short, material, articulate, relevant and timely. It must also be easy to follow and flow well for the reader.

The report must be truthful and resolve the allegation one way or another. The report must stand on its own so any uninvolved persons can read, digest and understand it. Write as if you're explaining your fraud examination to your mother.


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