Forensic services

We protect the value and reputation of your business by supporting you to manage the risks associated with fraud and misconduct, financial crime, regulatory interventions, and other unplanned events.

Economic, environmental, geopolitical, social and technological pressures are creating a risk landscape that is more complex than ever before. Organisations face numerous challenges and risks – often when they can least afford to deal with them. 

 For nearly two decades, PwC’s Global Economic Crime Survey has investigated global trends showing that, while some issues remain pervasive, new approaches will continue to emerge to respond to economic crime. One thing that’s clear is that fraud and misconduct remains a serious concern. Assisted by technology, our Forensic Services team can help you prepare for, respond to and recover from unplanned incidents.  


We help you take action to prevent economic and financial crimes, misconduct and disputes, navigating regulatory complexity to protect your business from financial and reputational damage.


A crisis, or other unanticipated event, can arise suddenly and unexpectedly in any organisation and cause enormous risk to your brand reputation, people and relationships. We respond quickly to mitigate risk during an incident and help prevent further damage, through investigation, advice and other interventions.


We will support you to recover from an incident or crisis to resume operations as quickly as possible, whilst improving your ability to learn from the event and enhance your preparation in future.

As an independent and trusted advisor, our team comes from a wide variety of backgrounds, including law enforcement, financial crime specialists, financial audit, experienced investigators, forensic accountants, computer forensic consultants and intelligence and research analysts.

With a network of 3,500 forensics practitioners covering all regions of the globe, we have access to the support and resources of the PwC Global Network to help resolve your challenges, wherever they may be. 

Explore different scenarios and see how our services can help

Financial crime compliance
Commercial disputes, forensic accounting investigations and regulatory response
Investigating fraud, corruption and misconduct
Preventing fraud and corruption
Protected disclosures and whistleblower hotline
Digital forensics and incident response (DFIR)
Crisis management


Our Forensic Services experts speak about some of the key fraud challenges that business leaders need to be aware of, and share insights on practical actions they can take.

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Financial crime compliance

Combating financial crime is more important than ever, with the regulatory landscape constantly evolving and becoming more robust, in conjunction with greater regulator scrutiny. If you are experiencing the below scenarios, we can help.

  • I want to understand where my business is vulnerable to bribery and corruption risks

  • I need help in engaging with my AML supervisor or a regulator

  • I need an AML or sanctions audit

  • I need help addressing AML or sanctions audit findings

  • My AML or sanctions systems need testing or configuration

  • I want some assurance over my AML or sanctions compliance functions

Our services

The AML/CFT and Sanctions compliance environment continues to change. Cost-effective, compliant and pragmatic regulatory compliance programmes remain essential to building confidence with regulators, and providing boards and senior management with the comfort they need to focus on other strategic priorities.

The risks associated with lapses in compliance can result in both immediate and ongoing reputational damage, with associated financial consequences. We aim to mitigate these risks, provide you with confidence that your compliance obligations are balanced with the risks you face, and, where necessary, guide you through the regulatory enforcement landscape.

We help clients with

Audit and review:
  • Independent audit and review services (including section 59 AML/CFT audits)

  • Periodic testing and reporting on compliance 

  • Technology and systems assurance 
  • Regulatory inspection and response assistance

  • Incident investigation and remediation

  • Managed and outsourced remediation services (e.g. KYC/CDD, account and transaction monitoring, customer screening & review, clearing alert and file ‘backlogs’)

  • Technical advice on compliance

  • Independent verifying and testing of account, transaction, monitoring, and screening systems

  • Design and/or development of AML/CFT & Sanctions Programme and Risk Assessment 

  • Anti-Bribery and Corruption framework development

  • Training and awareness

Commercial disputes, forensic accounting investigations and regulatory response

Establish facts. Analyse the issues. Develop a dispute resolution approach. It sounds simple, but it can be time-consuming and costly to tackle on your own. If you are experiencing the below scenarios, we can help.

  • I need someone to investigate financial transactions/arrangements

  • I need to know where my money/assets went, and help to quantify the value of loss suffered 

  • I need accounting/valuation support for a commercial/contractual dispute, and to understand whether the other party followed the agreement

  • I need a forensic accountant

  • I need an expert witness testimony

  • I need help to assess value of my relationship property for separation/divorce/marriage

Our services

Our highly experienced group of chartered accountants and fraud examiners specialise in analysing complex commercial and accounting arrangements. We quickly get to the heart of the issue, quantify losses, and clearly communicate the evidence of actual or alleged cases of financial and accounting fraud, the key issues in contractual disputes, or regulatory breaches. We bring clarity to the process, disentangling complex accounting records and business processes to reveal the true nature of the transactions and issues at hand.

We help clients with

  • Conducting financial and forensic accounting investigations

  • Interpreting complex financial transactions or information in a succinct manner that is meaningful to non-accountants

  • Providing forensic accounting support in contractual disputes and litigation, including expert witness services

  • Quantifying the value of your loss

  • Tracing lost funds to identify where assets may have ended up

  • Working with a legal team to freeze and recover lost funds or assets

Investigating fraud, corruption and misconduct 

Carefully and appropriately planned prevention of threats arising from fraud, corruption, employee and other serious misconduct and business disputes is far more cost-effective than remediation. If you are experiencing the below scenarios, we can help.

  • I have identified fraud, bribery or corruption

  • Someone has stolen money from my business

  • I have witnessed misconduct, what should I do?

  • I need someone to investigate a matter 

  • I need someone to quantify potential loss due to fraud

Our services

We regularly conduct forensic investigations for both public and private organisations, focusing on fraud, bribery, corruption, serious misconduct, conflicts of interest, independent reviews, theft, and other serious workplace misconduct. We take the strain away and provide clarity in the face of uncertainty by applying a multi-disciplinary approach to investigations, drawing on the skills and experience of investigators, forensic accountants, forensic computer specialists and lawyers. 

We help clients with

  • Full assistance across the lifecycle of an investigation

    • Receiving and responding to allegations

    • Developing and executing investigative strategy

    • Providing insight and factual findings to management and those in governance

    • Referring to and liaising with regulators and/or enforcement agencies

  • Specialised forensic tools and technologies to obtain, search and review electronic data, analyse transactions and accelerate insights and findings

  • Integrity due diligence procedures

  • Recovery of assets

  • Training and awareness

  • Secondment assistance to deliver investigation services

  • Referral to law enforcement, regulators and assistance with formal employment disputes

Preventing fraud and corruption

Organisations not only face threats from within, but when entering into business relationships with new parties or investing in capital projects - particularly those in different jurisdictions where local regulations may not be as explicit or tangible. If you are experiencing the below scenarios, we can help.

  • I want to know what my organisation’s fraud risks are, and what controls we have or need to put in place to mitigate them. What is best practice? 

  • I need some help updating my fraud, investigation and/or conflict of interest policies/procedures

  • I’d like someone to help me develop/facilitate fraud training for my team(s)

  • I need some help implementing and/or improving fraud detection processes

  • I’d like to establish a Fraud Framework for my organisation

Our services

Fraud prevention describes the strategies and processes that safeguard organisations from the threat of fraud and corruption. In our experience, there are two critical activities that help organisations to effectively manage their fraud and corruption prevention maturity and readiness: firstly, understanding their risk landscape; and secondly, assessing the maturity of frameworks that operate to address those risks. Other activities flow from these and target particular aspects of preventing fraud and corruption, and enhancing the risk response.

We help clients with

  • Fraud and corruption risk assessment

  • Fraud framework maturity assessment

  • Fraud and corruption control testing and validation

  • Developing, enhancing and implementing policies and procedures

  • Training and awareness - fraud, corruption, ethical conduct

Protected disclosures and whistleblower hotline

We help organisations to protect business value and recover from crises using our globally developed, proprietary processes, commercial tools and dedicated forensic laboratories. If you are experiencing the below scenarios, we can help.

  • I need a whistleblower/speak up hotline/service at my organisation

  • I need help with updating my whistleblowing and/or protected disclosures policies

  • I need training on Protected Disclosures

  • I’m worried my staff aren’t willing to raise concerns directly with management

Our services

We help to build safer and more ethical workplaces for New Zealanders by providing a safe avenue for disclosing instances of serious wrongdoing. A recent study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners has shown that 42% of fraud is detected through some form of tip-off (ACFE - A Report to the Nations 2022). 

Whistleblower services allow individuals to report matters of concern in the workplace anonymously and without fear of repercussions.

We help clients with

  • An independently operated 24/7 hotline and email account to receive confidential (and if required, anonymous) disclosures of all matters of concern, including Protected Disclosures in accordance with the Protected Disclosures (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act 2022

  • Developing policies, procedures, controls and promotional material relating to the operation of your whistleblower framework

  • Providing training to your staff on handling protected disclosures and guidelines for investigating raised matters

  • A full range of investigation services to assist in resolving any issues arising from disclosures made

Digital forensics and incident response (DFIR) 

Data from organisations is growing at an exponential rate,  with more than 2.8 million emails sent every second across the world. If you are experiencing the below scenarios, we can help.

  • We have been hacked, our computers are all locked and we don't know what to do

  • We have just received a threatening email from a hacker asking for bitcoin payments or they will leak company confidential information

  • We believe one of our employees have stolen confidential information from us

  • We believe that an employee has been using a work laptop for inappropriate reasons

  • We need a digital forensic expert to assist us with a court search order

Our services

Globally, 51% of businesses have experienced economic crime in the past 24 months. This trend is consistent with what we are seeing in New Zealand (GECS 2022). It is imperative that organisations have processes and infrastructure in place to prepare and respond to these threats.

We help clients with

  • Digital forensic investigations and technical support for other investigations - collecting and analysing electronic evidence (computers, mobile devices, applications, email, etc.) using specialised tools and processes

  • Pre, live and post incident response services

  • Computer forensic expert witness evidence


We help clients navigate e-Discovery challenges to manage the vast amounts of electronic data they hold, and comply with the legal and business processes that are set in motion by critical events. If you are experiencing the below scenarios, we can help.

  • We need assistance to process and search 10TB of emails, documents and user data in the next two weeks

  • We are struggling with being able to review 5 million emails and need automated techniques to make the review faster

Our services

Litigation and the associated discovery requests can be a difficult time for all, no matter what form it comes in (criminal, civil, or regulatory). Often these requests come with strict requirements and deadlines, with penalties for failing to meet them.

We have extensive experience dealing with and responding to requirements under a court order or inquiries from a regulator. We also have experience working with regulators and law enforcement and can help you identify the information they’re going to be looking for.

Our team of e-Discovery and litigation specialists (as well as investigators and specialists in other areas) work with you to find the needle in the haystack - collecting, processing, identifying and producing only those documents that are relevant.

We help clients with

  • Collection of large datasets, comprising a wide variety of different formats - computer, phone, email system, file share, cloud based platform - and in multiple languages

  • Processing and preparation of data for review including removal by subject matter experts of duplicate or near duplicate documents and obviously irrelevant material, using online platforms

  • Use of technology and machine learning to accelerate the identification of those documents most likely to be relevant

  • Preparation of documents in accordance with requirements outlined by discovery orders or New Zealand High Court Rules (or equivalent)

  • Navigating the complexities of cross-border collection and data processing, operating e-Discovery Centres of Excellence across the globe

Crisis management

In a fast-moving world, the ability to anticipate and respond to a crisis quickly, effectively and discreetly is essential. If you are experiencing the below scenarios, we can help.

  • We’re experiencing a crisis at the moment and need some help navigating what to do

  • I want to make sure that we have a plan in place to respond to future crisis events

  • We’ve just come out of a crisis event and want to know what we did well and what we might need to improve for next time

Our services

A crisis can disrupt operations, damage reputation, destroy shareholder value, and trigger other threats. As all organisations learned through the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to anticipate and plan for the possibility of an unplanned event. The more prepared you are to manage shocks, the less likely you’ll fall victim to serious harm, and you will gain the muscle memory to build resilience for future threats.

We help clients with

  • Preparing for a crisis through assessment and remediation of crisis planning, table top exercises and crisis simulation, as well as other training and guidance

  • Crisis response management, supporting across all aspects of the crisis response to stabilise the business through to recovery

  • After action and lessons learned assessments, providing leadership and those in governance with a clear, consistent and independent assessment of the crisis response, along with areas to enhance the response to future events

Case studies

A NZ leading financial institution

Client Challenge

The client urgently required remediation assistance services in respect of its compliance with the NZ Anti-Money Laundering & Countering Financing of Terrorism regime due to a regulator warning. Although only initially requiring strategic assistance in interacting with and formally responding to their AML supervisor, the scope quickly evolved into needing:

  • New customer risk rating models

  • Guidance and strategic direction in how to remediate matters of non-compliance

  • Enhancing policy and procedure documentation

  • Assistance with investigating PEP/adverse media/sanctions screening results

  • A new transaction/account monitoring system

  • Ongoing AML consulting and other services

Throughout the engagement, the customer base grew by over 200,000 customers, to 350,000 customers. 


  • Worked closely with management and kept senior stakeholders regularly informed with the evolving situation

  • Understood end-to-end processes to identify gaps in compliance activities

  • Proposed changes to, and developed, documentation to meet regulatory requirements

  • Teamed with PwC USA and PwC China to deploy experienced and innovative staff to complete PEP screening & investigation remediation services 

  • Identified data points for use in risk rating and customer cluster analysis

  • Understood the challenges faced and proposed solutions to solve the problems being faced through use of OCR and Machine Learning systems.

  • Identified relevant money laundering typologies and built bespoke Python scripting to identify suspicious customer activity against customer cohorts behaviours & known money laundering indicators.


  • 100k customers screened against PEP/adverse media/sanctions lists, with 14k investigations completed and resolved within 2 months

  • Identified, proposed and deployed solutions for reducing effort required to clear false positive PEP/adverse media/sanctions screening results

  • Identification of OCR technology use cases within the business on an ongoing basis, and for completing specific remediation activities

  • Created a bespoke system, built using machine learning principles and capable of unsupervised learning, for completing AML account and transaction monitoring. That system continues to be successful in identifying previously undetected forms of suspicious activity for reporting to the NZ Police.

A significant organisation

Client Challenge

A significant organisation sought investigation assistance into allegations of corrupt practices with contracts, involving a senior manager and an external contractor.


PwC initially conducted investigation interviews with the Organisation’s management to obtain any relevant information regarding the matter, and subsequently conducted a detailed analysis to quantify the variance between hours worked and hours invoiced. PwC identified a large variance between hours billed vs hours worked, and also separately, through interviewing and investigation, identified monthly payments made by the contractor to the manager for “consulting services”. 

After reporting findings to the client, PwC assisted with its legal process, through both mediation and litigation support, including the Discovery process. PwC’s Forensic Technology services were used to provide assistance to the Organisation  with the discovery of relevant documents, including “tagging” and providing unique identifiers for thousands of documents to be used in proceedings.


Corruption was identified and proven, and rooted out of the organisation, with management able to instate new processes, systems and personnel to provide it and its stakeholders with confidence.

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Contact us

Stephen Drain

Stephen Drain

Partner, PwC New Zealand

Tel: +64 21 196 2500

Philip Riley

Philip Riley

Director, PwC New Zealand

Tel: +64 22 366 3314

Michael Leightley

Michael Leightley

Director, PwC New Zealand

Tel: +64 21 262 9727

Wendy Wang

Wendy Wang

Director 总监, PwC New Zealand

Tel: +64 21 260 3335