In the past, a “document” simply referred to information written in ink on a piece of paper. There would be one original and might be a small number of copies. You either had the document in your hand or you didn’t. Documentary evidence was largely black and white and all record of a document could be erased with both speed and ease.
Documents today need not have a physical form and information are contained in many different places and in a range of media formats. There can be multiple originals while at the same time remaining difficult to verify authenticity. Documents and information have become almost impossible to erase, even if one may think they have been.
This is a weird and wonderful landscape where all the rules have been re-written and where new risks and fresh opportunities abound. In this landscape, it is no longer sufficient for a forensic accountant to simply request financial records for analysis. We need to be more proactive in supporting clients’ efforts to obtain and manage the information, whether in hard or soft form, and help organise, prioritise and identify important information.
It is equally crucial for a modern firm to master the digital domain, as whole cases can now stand or fall on how digital information is handled.
Honeycomb enters this largely digital landscape with the resources and technology to unlock information and data from virtually any device, including computers, tablets, and smartphones. We are then able to analyse and review electronic information in emails, Microsoft files, accounting packages, and even text or instant messages.
We are also able, where possible, to revive “deleted material” and rebuild it from fragments. We download, image and store data in a forensically pristine way in order to preserve the integrity of the original while being careful to maintain an audit trail. This is crucial in civil and criminal cases to demonstrate that documents and information have not been tampered with.