How To Conduct an Investigation in The Former Soviet Union
As former Soviet Bloc countries continue to evolve from centrally planned to free market economies, their bountiful natural resources and untapped potential will naturally attract foreign investment. However, market entrants – and investigators especially – are apt to discover substantial differences in corporate transparency from country to country. For that and other reasons, beyond fluency in the local language, experienced insight into the local culture and local business practices is critical to success.
In a Global Investigations Review article, Dr. Maria Tsennykh shares her experience from more than a decade of audit and forensic accounting work, including leading investigations, in former Soviet Bloc countries. A native Russian speaker educated in Moscow who began her career at a Big 4 firm there, Dr. Tsennykh also provides a mapping of languages used in different contexts for a sample of former Soviet Bloc countries to underscore the need for local, Russian and English language fluency.
From the nuances of local languages and cultural norms, to employee biases in business practices, many factors can mean the difference between success and failure in a cross-border investigation. Successfully navigating these challenges requires independent experts with specific business and cultural experience in these countries.