Inside Financial Investigator Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"There Is Always A Place For Me...
My career began with a job in corporate accounting with transportation company YRC Worldwide in New York. Things were going well and I really excelled at cleaning up accounts after a merger. One year later, a large construction company had located my resume online and wanted to interview me. I knew I had nothing to lose, and three interviews later, they gave me an offer I just could not refuse. Though I ended up parting ways with them after about 18 months, the experience was priceless. I had experience as Controller of a small Fortune 500 company, at not 30 years of age! Upon my departure, for a small period, I even thought that maybe the financial world wasn't for me. I decided that I would begin my own consulting business, with a concentration in auditing. Through the connections I made in New York and networking with friends from college, I am off to a much faster start than I thought! I am now fully convinced that with a business degree, anything is possible!" (Auditor/Consultant; 2013)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Michigan, male
School: Studied General Business at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan; completed Bachelor degree in 2004

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Tax Examiner: "The best part of the job is the satisfaction I get from helping an individual to straighten out tax matters that have confused him or her and being thanked for doing so. The worst part of the job is the occasional verbal abuse that's leveled at me by a taxpayer who is frustrated and unwilling to address the issues that have arisen out of his failure to report income completely, or who just does not want to listen to what needs to be done to correct the situation." (2010)

Public Work Wage Investigator: "The best part of my job is investigating contractors who are in violation of the labor law. The worst part is when the contractor doesn't want to cooperate with the investigation. My department can also withhold money on a project if a contractor refuses to produce the documents I requested. Usually when this occurs, the contractor caves and releases the documents we originally requested." (2010)

Management Specialist: "The best part of my job is reviewing our procedures and analyzing what we do to find out what can be improved, and then making a proposal and, if it's accepted, implementing the new process. It is not fun for someone who likes routine, but for me it is challenging. The worst part is when I work hard on a project and it's not accepted because the agency does not have the budget for it. Then there's little for me to do but accept the situation." (2010)

Career Background

Financial Investigator

  Job Tasks
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  How to Prepare for the Job
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Career Video

Career Tips

"Network, Network Network...
Always do your best to succeed in any position you work and make friends fast, especially with superiors. Competition is a beast in the business world and you need all the references you can get to set yourself apart from the rest of the field." (Auditor/Consultant; 2013)

"Communicate At The Right Level...
1. Cultivate your people skills. Become comfortable talking with others. A good way to achieve these skills is through public-speaking and participation in debating, drama, and similar programs. 2. Learn to speak with people on their level. Don't talk down to them or assume that everyone knows what you do about a subject. 3. Listen effectively. Hear what people are saying and try to look at issues from their point of view. 4. Strive for accuracy in your work. Take pride in doing it properly and completely." (Tax Examiner; 2010)

"Maintain Contact With Affected Employees...
Always be aware of what is going on with your cases. Take notes because they may have to be used in a hearing later on. It is also crucial to be organized and alert during an investigation. Try to keep in constant contact with the underpaid employees because they can provide useful testimony against a contractor. Try to get your cases finished in a timely manner." (Public Work Wage Investigator; 2010)

"Propose Change Even If There's Resistance...
Jobs in government can be very different from one agency to another. I work with a very dynamic team but sometimes it can take awhile before things change. We have to be patient. I believe in integrity in the public services. Never be scared to propose ideas even if sometimes people are afraid to change. This is the only way you will improve services in our society." (Management Specialist; 2010)