Welcome to NASBA’s Investigator Training Series. Below, you will find six modules created to provide introductory training for investigators assigned to investigate a complaint for a board of accountancy. You can play the modules directly on this page, or click the titles of each module to open them in a new window/tab.

Complaint Process


In this first Module, we will explore an overview of the complaint process and the investigator’s role within that process, as well as discuss how that process may differ depending on the complaint procedures utilized by your particular board of accountancy. This module will give a brief description of the different types of complaints, sources of information for the investigation, and penalties available to most boards after a determination of a violation.

Investigative Process


In this Module, you will learn the basic steps involved in a standard investigation of an accountancy complaint. We will discuss the investigative process, including an overview of the Investigator’s relationship with the board, the types of activities involved in an investigation, and how that investigation may be driven by the needs of the board and in preparation for formal action. This module also provides sample documentation for retaining an investigator, requesting an investigation, as well as submitting initial and follow up reports.

Gathering Documentation


The Gathering Documentation Module reviews the documentation typically gathered during an investigation. We will look at sources for information, including the Complainant, Respondent, and other sources. We will also discuss how the documentation gathered in an investigation will differ depending on the nature of the complaint and review recommendations for organizing the investigative file.

Interviewing Techniques


You will learn recommended techniques for interviewing parties or witnesses during an investigation in the Interviewing Techniques Module. In particular, we will review tips for the timing and location of an interview, as well as suggestions for the investigator’s demeanor and note taking procedures. Specific suggestions will be provided for beginning and concluding an interview, in addition to specific practice pointers for questioning the witness.

Report Writing


In the Report Writing Module, we will consider how the Investigator communicates the results of his investigation to the Board through written reports and attachments. We will discuss the components of a typical investigation report, as well as factors affecting the style of the report. We will also review tips for storing investigation materials and following a standard protocol for investigations. This module also provides sample documentation for tracking pending investigations, as well as final investigation reports and follow up reports.

Expert Witnesses


The Expert Witnesses Module looks at situations in which an expert witness may be retained and the elements of an expert’s C.V. that may be considered by a board before retaining the expert. You will also learn steps for preparing a witness to testify and general practice pointers for testimony during the hearing. This module also includes sample documentation for retaining an expert witness.