You may find yourself in the position that you will have to have some very frank discussions about what to expect in terms of costs and time outlays. While much of these discussions will focus on the investigative process and costs, these discussions will allow you to begin to talk about remediation going forward and begin to explain why money must be budgeted for the process.

Dan Chapman, also believes that costs must be adequately discussed to set proper expectations. These include both direct costs and, even more importantly, a discussion of indirect costs to the company. He noted that “the biggest cost to a company during an investigation is the diversion of management resources” and, as he further explained, “kind of everything stops to focus on the investigation.” This indirect cost comes through largely the time commitment of senior management. He further explained, “if senior management has to commit 20% of their time, that’s 20% that’s not going towards revenue generating, shareholder value protecting activities.”

Three key takeaways:

  1. A serious allegation gets the attention of the Board of Directors and senior management. Use this time to move the compliance program forward.
  2. Be aware of how your investigation can impact and even inform your remediation efforts.
  3. How do you deal with the dreaded ‘where else’ question?